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When we moved to our home in the Hill Country, we agreed we wanted a natural yard with native grasses and wildflowers, rather than a groomed suburban yard. However, there are limits, and I resolved to get rid of Johnson grass. It is a tall prolific grass that is impossible to walk through. It will quickly choke out all of the low growing pretty grasses. It took two years, but by cutting off all of the seed pods before they had a chance to open, I virtually eliminated Johnson grass from our acre.
This year the wild flowers have been beautiful. I have photographed 35 different flowers growing around my house. It is a joy to look out the windows or walk down the path to the trees. I have a lot of dandelions this year, and I may try harvesting the leaves after the flowers stop blooming.
I reached the conclusion that I don’t like thistles. The flowers are ugly, and the pointy leaves are not friendly. I decided to attack them in the same way that I attacked the Johnson grass, clipping off the buds before they have a chance to open into flowers and make seeds.
It takes me about an hour to cover 1/3 of our yard looking for thistle buds. I walk and bend and snip. Then I walk some more. It isn’t the type of intense exercise that is the most beneficial for Type Os, but is good for flexibility. It is really good for my soul to be outside in the spring air, away from the computer chair.
I’m not counting my thistle workout as my exercise for the day. I still need cardio and strength training. But I do like this time of year when yard work makes my lifestyle more active than it is in the winter.
Thistles remind me of sin. They may be ugly and unwanted, but they are also stubborn. They don’t give up easily. I can snip off buds one day, and three days later more buds are forming. I can never let down my guard.
I was seriously considering putting thistles against the fence of our yard; it is unusual that anything apart from removing dandelions should apeal to me.
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