Saturday, May 26, 2007

Pushing up dandelions

Jerry is waging a war.

I refer to it as a backyard Armageddon of sorts -- a great battle between the forces of good and evil.

Jerry versus dandelions.

The conflict started about a week ago when we noticed a ton of the little yellow weeds popping up all over. We have been receiving numerous colorful fliers in the mail from one particular chemical company addressed to the former owners, so I'm pretty sure they relied on outside help to keep the grass weed-free.

But with Toby only a few inches off the ground and addicted to spending hours at a time laying in the sunshine, the last thing we want to do is deprive him of that.

So Jerry, standing in a Superman stance with his feet shoulder-length apart and his hands formed into fists placed on his hips, boldly announced, "Don't worry, I've got this."

(It wasn't a stretch to envision a red cape flapping in the wind behind him.)

He went to a nearby garden center and brought back a funky-looking tool that could almost double as a barbecue skewer, only it had a fat wooden handle on one end and a two-pronged fork on the other.

Then he grabbed our 10 gallon yard waste bucket and set out to seek and destroy the enemy.

It took him hours, but he did it. He nearly filled the huge container with roots, jagged leaves, stems and buds intact. The yard looked fantastic.

My hero.

But the next day, it confoundedly looked as if he hadn't done a thing. Little patches of yellow sprinkled the lawn. The enemy was resilient. And advancing.

A few exasperated expletives later, Jerry was wielding his weapon and on the attack. One of our neighbors, a softspoken older gentleman who lives next door, laughed at Jerry's persistence and joked, "I guess you missed a couple yesterday, huh?"

"A couple" turned out to be a gigantic understatement. Jerry nearly filled the bucket again.

This continued for nearly a week: Jerry would attack during the day, the dandelions would advance at night.

But, eventually, Jerry secured the upperhand. Fewer and fewer weeds blossomed. In fact, he got so good at detecting them that sometimes he'd catch one or two before they even flowered -- something he considered a small victory in itself.

Then one morning it happened: There wasn't a dandelion to be found. Jerry surveyed the yard in a victorious strut, mumbling, "That's right. I win."

To celebrate, I poured some lemonade and we sat outside on our bench admiring the lush green lawn.

Our neighbor, noticing our victory toast, congratulated Jerry on a job well done.

"I guess you'll have to get all those little purple weeds next," he said with a smile.

I could see Jerry's head trying to comprehend that the tiny violet flowers subtly mixed in with the grass, almost entirely camouflaged, were not the pretty lawn accent he thought they were.


I could only think to say one thing.

"I'll get the bucket."


Wendy said...

Yards are nothing but hard work, but when you look back and admire that hard work, you know it was worth it. Talk to your home improvement guys because they sell stuff that can kill weeds but are safe for dogs and kids. At this house, we finally had to pull up and replace all the grass along one side of the house. It has hard work (pull up grass, till, kill everything there, prep soil, lay sod...etc.), but it was well worth it in the end.

Candi said...

LOL! Too funny. Poor guy, all that work...

Chelsea said...

Planting is fun, but weeding is a drag.

Pauline said...

Haha! He is too funny. And sure, Violets may be in the weed family, but I love them. I would never pull violets up. My sister and I used to pick them every spring, and put them in a little brown-tinted jug-like container. Good memories =)

the mowing plainsman said...

Jerry is the Man! He seems almost too motivated! You think he is making some of that dandelion wine in the basement?

Good for you two in not using the chemical alternatives, no matter how safe. Opinion is split, but some think that the chemicals actually made the lawns less resistant to new attacks.

As for me, the dandelions look just fine as long as they are cut before they go to seed. Violets OK, too. With two yards to cut, I must remain philosophical! It's the crab grass, plantains and "snappers" I can't tolerate!

Ray said...

Jerry's a superhero indeed. You got a good man right there. Hope he kills all the weeds this time. ;o)