This isn’t a sexy subject, but it’s a very practical one: weed barrels. Yesterday it was 103º in my garden, and for me at least, that doesn’t inspire much desire for working outdoors. But even on the very hottest, or wettest, or coldest days, you generally have some cause for crossing parts of your garden, even if only to get to the garage. And who amongst us can brag that on these daily criss-crossings a weed is never, ever spotted? The problem is not so much stopping to pull the intruder as it is what to do with the offender afterwards. Divert all that way to the compost pile in this heat? Hardly. Attempt a hardy fling into the shrubs? Possibly, but inevitably the bloody thing winds up dangling from the branches, mocking you. So instead, I’ve strategically placed weed barrels – essentially 36″ pots left over from purchased shrubs – in every one of my gardens, tucked here and there in the greenery. That way, when I see a weed, I just pull it out and pop it in the barrel. Every couple of weeks, when it’s cool and I have time, I make a round with the my cart and collect the contents for the compost. I can’t tell you how much this has increased my tendency to stop for a few minutes as I pass, pulling this, pruning that. It makes the whole process of maintenance, dare I say it: so much less weedious.