So I bit the proverbial bullet and began a planned xeriscape revamping. The landscaper began by removing the grass last week. This afternoon, I went out to collect the Iris before the yard work begins next week. (Last year, I had two boxes of Iris and gave away half, but now the iris have multiplied again. In fact, I found more after this photo. Thank heavens I save all those boxes....)
Instead, I liberated some of the brick edging:
Anyway as I inspected the edging, I noticed... wait for it... more roots. Not ivy this time but back in the yard. Ah, I thought, the roots of a defunct tree. Yes, it was the ex-pear tree roots. (The pears were bad -- so inedible even the birds would eat them only on one side; mostly the pears just cluttered the yard and rotted -- in huge piles; it was a very prolific, useless tree. And it had as many roots.) I pulled. I pulled some more. It was a Hydra, a mythical beast, branching out away from the edging. Its tentacles reached out toward every corner of the yard. They crisscrossed and interlaced, but I persevered.
You are probably asking yourself, as I did several times while amputating hydra limbs, is this really necessary? You are probably concluding, as I did each time, NO. The dirt is going to be moved around and the edging dug out, any hydra tentacles that exist will be buried during the prepping for the new backyard plan (which hasn't even been formulated yet). And still, I pulled hydra limbs and traced hydra tentacles and dug up hydra intersections. I cut the hydra at the brick edging -- on BOTH sides because of course you can't pull the hydra tentacles out from under the overly-well-secured edging foundation.
This is not the task for a sane homeowner. Once you start, it is like an OCD compulsion. You think, this branch will end and that will be the finish. But the branch always intersects another, and you find an additional full hydra tempting you to pull some more. It is crazy-making. It is obsessive. It is ridiculous. And yet you think: just another pull and it will be the end. Trust me: the hydra never end. Do NOT do this in your yard.
When I dispose of the already-exposed hydra, I am going to try very hard to ignore the other protruding roots. Fortunately I had a skype yoga class to teach Sunday at 2, so prime hydra hunting time was effectively interrupted. Thank goodness. Doing my taxes (my other weekend task) has seemed almost preferrable -- but just as tenaciously neverending (what myth-maker estimates those recordkeeping and preparation times?). Or maybe there, too, I need to realize: perfection is NOT required.
Wish me luck -- or sanity....