A two week summer vacation is a classic joy, but gardeners do it anxiously. They are anxious to go and anxious about what will happen to their gardens while they are away.
This year my husband, Jay and I went to Edinburg, Scotland the last week of June and the first week of July. The days were long and the weather in Scotland uncharacteristically warm and dry. Those extra hours of sunlight in that northern latitude produce a bounty of flowers in every yard, garden and roadside wild space.
Before leaving Old Greenwich I set up a water timer with soaker hoses to give newly planted shrubs water every other morning early. In addition a standard sprinkler refreshed the potted rosemary, lemon verbena and a small garden area. The system kept all those plants growing well. But in my absence my established garden and front walk became a wild patch of crab grass and weeds in just 15 days. When I was back home and ready to go out to root out the weeds the temperatures were in the 90s and the humidity about the same. I only worked a short time before having to quit for the day.
A friend gave me a wonderful suggestion of a different tool to attack the creeping grasses. As it happens my husband has three in his work shop. I had been using my Japanese-style weeding knife and an old asparagus knife, neither of which are easy to use between the closely laid bluestone pavers. The tool I needed is a sheetrock saw (center tool). It cuts the roots of the grass weeds which reduced by half the time spent weeding the walk. It saved my day.