Blackberry Whips and Deadfall


yard workYesterday was another battle in the yard. It was the last nice day before was supposed to start raining (thought, looking out side the morning after, I see no signs of the wetness that was supposed to start just after dark last night). Our friend was kind enough even to end us the use of a chainsaw to get through some of the dead fall in our back yard.


I’ve been having a hard time waking up and being motivated in the day without coffee, and yesterday I was struggling. It wasn’t even a very strenuous day, just simple going out to lunch with my boyfriend’s family, then doing a couple running-around errands while we were in town.

During the car ride, I was falling asleep. And when we got home at 4:30 and my boyfriend said “Let’s do yard work!” I grumpily replied, “Only if you carry me.”

Before going back into the house from the truck, I took a little wander further into the depths of the over-grown back yard. With winter having taken its toll, it was easier to see just what was spiky and needing to go, what was deadfall, and what was something beautiful trying to come through.

While I was still tired, it was enough to inspire me to get out there and tug on some blackberries for half an hour or so.

Our tools were limited, we only had a pair of shears, some long-handled clippers and a pick. We cleared away as much as we could get to before discovering that what we thought was just another evergreen tree was actually a dead, fallen tree, and another tree fallen on it as well.

You have to understand, it has been at least five-ten years since any one has given this yard any care at all. the ground is a bed of ivy (so beautiful – it’s too bad it kills so much!), and trees that are twenty feet tall are completely covered with blackberry bushes. We discovered two more rhodie bushes that we had no idea were there.

with the aid of the chain saw, we were able to accomplish and clear a lot before it got dark, though we still need to clear what we cleared from the back yard. Some of it will go to next winter’s fire wood, and the other stuff will make for a great bon fire tonight – or whenever the next non raining day is. The rest of the sticker bushes and all the ivy – we have special plans for that.

Today we get to acquire a goat.

That’s right, we will be staying true to the Washingtonian nature and procuring a goat from a friend of ours to clear away ivy, blackberries, all the extra bits we pulled up and are too prickly to deal with. We will have one fat goat on our hands.

So having only vowed to do half an hour or so of yard work yesterday, we put in a full three hours, and only stopped because the light was fading so fast.

I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it – which sounds silly to me to say it, since I’ve always been an advocate of gardening. Though, to me, gardening is planting things, not going to battle. It felt so good to be out in the fresh air, pretending that I had any ounce of knowledge of what we were doing. It was just as my boyfriend said it would be: Therapeutic.

I would go back out there now, try and wipe the mental cobwebs away, except I have an interview this morning. I only hope the weather holds out long enough for me to get back there afterwards.



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