The sad little ditch in front of our house has grown, with the spring, into a very pretty meadow. There are dozens of varieties of grasses just getting into seed. There are layers clearly visible – dandelions with the broad leaves at the bottom poking their blooms .5 m up to share a level with a dozen other soft-stemmed weeds, but still shaded by the grasses. Wild purple marigold dominate a shaded section, and near them a scattering of tiny blue blossoms on a frilly leafed something crouch within the thin-bladed rye. There are creepers, and volunteer wild roses, and of course a stretch of Himalayan blackberries are invading.

And I am out there killing them all off because the neighbouring homeowners have all done so.

Holding the trigger on the weed whip so long I have discovered that even my gripping muscles are out of shape and flabby – and I have to take a break to let the lactic acid buildup burn off. I think I need a bigger tool.