Since the temperature dropped below ninety for the first time in weeks, I got caught up on gardening today. Mostly, this meant weeding.

Lordy, the weeding.

I have gotten much more cruel, out of pure neccessity. Things are being ripped up, willy-nilly. There are large bald chunks now, which really need a plant to hold ’em down, or they’ll just re-weed, damnit.

This has also allowed me to take stock of who likes it here, and who doesn’t. Lantana thinks this yard is the bomb, which is good, because I like it, and it’s not hardy down here, so locally, it counts as a polite foreigner rather than a rampaging Mongol horde. Butterfly weed loves it. Echinacea, goin’ nuts.

Coreposis, dead. Campion, dead. The purple homestead verbena is thriving like a lunatic, next to its dead pink relations. (Obviously the purple’s the horse to bet on.) Cherry sage is loony. Cardinal flower died so fast it nearly took my breath away. Bee balm doin’ well, anise hyssop doin’ well, rosinweed doin’ well.

I must keep these things in mind when I go to plant in the dead spaces.

Unfortunately, our attention to the front yard has left the backyard mostly untouched, which is bad, because Japanese stiltgrass, which is a real pest down here, has taken over. We couldn’t figure out what it was for quite awhile–we suspected it was BAD, because nothing that means well grows that vigorously–but I finally put a name to it.

Fortunately, it’s an annual, so if we can catch it before it sets seed, we may be able to get it under control–this stuff is obviously the result of a few years of neglect. James is going out with the weed whacker after lunch. I spent most of the morning taking down maple trees and silk trees, but the stiltgrass is beyond human agency, and requires machinery. Or maybe fire.

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