I spent most of my free time in the front and back yards this weekend, both of which put together amount to about 200 square feet, but it's amazing what sort of trash can accumulate over a winter of neglect. It doesn't help that our backyard is open to the alley and only steps away from a major pedestrian thoroughfare to the Adams Morgan strip -- every weekend I'm cleaning up the nasty remnants of jumbo slice pizza left by the suburbanites who would eat almost anything to sop up the night's alcohol. Another great feature of our particular geography is an airflow phenomenon that picks up all the trash thrown down within a 100 foot radius and sweeps it onto our back steps and yard. It's amazing, and I've seen it at work.
Of course, no yardwork in Adams Morgan is ever complete without discovering the evidence of rodents. In this case, it was a hole the rats had dug between our yard and our neighbor's yard. I thought about some inventive ways to patch the hole with broken glass or steel wool or maybe some sort of spring-loaded device that would impale the rat next time it dug through, but eventually I just filled it with more dirt and resolved to put a trap there if I found the hole again. My attitude toward rats is not very generous.
At the end of the weekend we had some severely pruned rose bushes, refreshed planter boxes in the front, and a decent little herb garden in the back. It's a simple herb garden with some basics I use all the time: rosemary, tarragon, and basil. I've tried growing dill and fennel in the past, but they tend to get too rangy and go to seed on me. The rosemary bush is in its third year, and I transplanted it to a larger pot in hopes it will grow bigger and perhaps I can eventually stick it in the ground.