These are a few of my (least) favorite things…

Spring clean-up came in earnest this weekend at Daisy Hill farm.  Everything will be downhill from here as my least favorite yard chore; cutting back our ornamental grasses, is done for the year.  I know, I know, there are all kinds of shortcuts and tricks for this job including lassoing grasses for the last round-up (see Holly’s March 8 post), duct-taping them, and cutting them down with hedge-trimmers or a chainsaw.  Unfortunately, between our winter snow beating them down and our dogs using them as their own personal jungle playground, standing the grasses up neatly to await a trim just isn’t an option.  So I dive in and do it the old-fashion way; armed with a set of hand-loppers, every piece of  personal protective equipment I can find, and the entire repertoire of swear words my Army sergeant Old Man taught me.  Between hacking, cussing, and hauling it’s a two afternoon job.  On the plus side, it did give me time to ponder my top five list of least favorite yard jobs.  See how it compares with your list…


  1. Cutting back ornamental grasses
  2. Picking up black walnuts (this is to Fall what no. 1 is to spring)
  3. Weeding (the only redeeming factor is instant gratification)
  4. Deadheading (yeah, it’s not the hard but you know you’ll have to turn right around and do it again (and again and again…)
  5. Leaf raking (Actually, this wouldn’t be so bad but I went out and bought a chipper-shredder a couple years ago and feel compelled to use it.  Works like a champ – shreds leaves as fast as I can feed them in.  Too bad the bag needs to be emptied approximately every 43 seconds…)

11 thoughts on “These are a few of my (least) favorite things…”

  1. Hmm… I actually love weeding and raking. Ornamental grasses I don’t mind, though it is EVER so much more fun (and dangerous) to burn them down.
    What I hate more than anything is edging. I don’t know why, but I LOATH it. Followed by lawn mowing.

  2. Cutting back ornamental grasses and perennials is a snap as a 2 person job. 1 to hold them and 1 to cut with a hedge trimmer or serrated bread knife. I hate turning compost and slug patrol.

  3. I’m with Joseph on the edging business. Urgh. Trying to beat back/hack out/pull out brambles on our weathered, semi-covered-with-soil outcrop is also an unremitting and not so fun chore. On the other hand, discovering new volunteers under some of the trees is quite fun, and a good antidote to the less happy tasks. Yesterday as I weeded out back I found some uvularia, a new Jack-in-the-pulpit, and a nice little yew, all of which were little gifts left by perching birds.

  4. For me, it’s always the scale of the job that can get me down. I wouldn’t mind clipping one or two topiaried boxwoods, but I have a client with a garden filled with pyramids, lollipops, and backbreaking 2′ hedges. I was able to remove four of the infernal shrubs recently and suggested replacement with something loose and flowery! I like weeding in my g
    arden. Like Deb, I’m always finding volunteers and last year’s expensive impulse buy buried under rampant violets or sweet woodruff.

  5. The garden job I loathe is mulching. We have full beds with lots of oddball plants and late emergers so we can’t hire it out. It’s tedious, I never know quite how much room to leave unmulched for reseeders, and, like Nancy, the enormity of the job makes me dread it. My FAVORITE garden job is design contemplation from a comfortable chair with a G&T 🙂

  6. We burn the grasses but after damaging a Japanese Tree Lilac We don’t burn until they are about 12″ left. My least favorite is trying to rake the rocks from lawn (400 feet worth)and a hill that the snowplows deposited over the winter . We rented a mower with a 36″ wire brush-it sort of worked but the turf is beat up a bit.

    Another icky job IMO is cleaning up/pruning my shrub roses-lots of fussy pruning.

    For edging, last year for my birthday my husband bought me a Echo bed redefiner-$$$ but a great time saver!

  7. Paul, I believe I have a photo of you in “action”, ahem.

    I kind of enjoy edging. There’s an art to getting the curve just right (which I rarely do), plus great for the quads (the old- fashioned way). And I love the smell of mulch in the morning. We just finished our whole garden and it looks awesome. Until the chickens come…

  8. keeping the invasive/aggresive plants from taking over my yard from every single neighbor. ivy, rose of sharon, euonymus, vinca. although i just got a brand new saw for the euonymus branches pulling my fence apart. sundays at 12:00 one side of neighbors goes to church, every weekend. i wonder if they notice the decimation when they get back. that is fun!

  9. I detest weeding because, like laundry, it is never-ending. Even when the August sun has baked every inch of un-irrigated earth to resemble concrete there will be *something* that is invading & growing unwanted in the DG. Trimming back the photinia is my second least -favorite – they are messy and annoying, screaming “Helloooo Suburbia!” everywhere you see them. Beating back the neighbors’ fence-grown jasmine & honeysuckle comes in third. Lawn care would be next, but only because I’ve refused to do it in recent years (told hubby if he wanted a lawn he could care for it, otherwise we were going to have anything-but-grass there). If I had to care for it, lawn care would easily be top of the list.

    What do I like to do? Digging, compost-turning, harvesting, snail-tossing, planting, mulching, dead-heading, trimming/pruning, leaf-raking … so much to love !

  10. On the detest list:
    1) Digging/preparing soil and beds for planting.

    2) Weeding out the stray grasses that pop up over the course of the season.

    3) Dealing with blackberry vines on any level (however, I do love to pick those berries, so maybe it balances out).

    On the other hand, I love deadheading–it’s soothing somehow, and the plants look so nice afterwards. I also don’t mind weeding, as long as I can keep on top of it.

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