The drought spoiled... not my yard or garden, but me. I've been used to cleaning the weeds out of the front yard once in the spring (February and early March, here) and then giving it a lick and promise every few months and having the front look halfway decent into the fall. Today I made a third concerted pass through the front yard this year. Granted it took me less than an hour, but there were well established weeds everywhere. We've had what the weather bureau says is normal rainfall, but the drought had gone on so long that I'm sure not used to it!

The most disconcerting was finding Palm leaves growing out of the clump of Yucca Glauca. The yucca, at least this garden version of it grows in tight clumps so it's unusual to see any weeds in it. While there are no native palms in Phoenix, there are a number of varieties that will spread like weeds here if given a chance. My neighbor, a couple of owners back, worked cleaning out drainage areas and culverts for Arizona highway department. (One day he brought home a massive diamondback rattlesnake he found at work to show off, which scared me pretty good till he assured me he didn't get it anywhere near where we lived.) When he was going to move he decided to landscape his front yard to make it look prettier for sale. He brought in a good dozen Mexican fan palms he'd dug up at work, and planted them all over his tiny front yard. Fortunately the next owner saw the pretty little palms were going to grow into a giant mess and he cut down all but three of them. The three are about 20 foot tall now after a dozen years, and can easily get twice as tall. They haven't been much of a problem until the last year or so when the current owner stopped having them trimmed regularly. Yes, palms require maintenance. Usually they are trimmed at a particular time of year just as the fruit stalks start to grow to keep the palms from planting themselves in your roses. (I don't have roses, but the neighbor with the palms does.) If they do sprout and you catch them small, they're just like any little weed. Pull them and you're done. I'd guess the palm in my yucca was hidden for at least year underneath the yucca. So it was pretty sizable when it burst through recently. Way too big to pull. I cut it off as low to the ground as I could. Once it gets a few years old and has good roots it's hard to kill one.

While I was out working, the toddler from the house on other side wobbled out of their garage and greeted me with a cheerful "Geah!" (rhymes with 'yeah'). His dad chuckled as he led him back to go into his car seat. I pondered the expression while those neighbors drove off for the morning. I thought, well he'll grow beyond that philological curiosity all too soon. Then one of the folks from across the street came to get into his car parked on my side and he greeted me with a smile, a wave and what sounded like 'Guh up!' Maybe that toddler won't grow out of it. ;o)
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