My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Weeds

2006-03-13

[start gardening psa]Okay, listen up people. I'm only going to say this once. If you own a lovely spring-blooming bush like a forsythia or a flowering quince, LEAVE IT ALONE!! Do not I repeat do NOT carve it into an unnatural shape. Let it do its thing. One of the wonderful qualities of the forsythia is that it is a shaggy, free flowing bush with tendril branches that grow every which way they please. They are beautiful. Nature knows what it's doing. There is nothing sadder than a forsythia the shape of a box. Or a mushroom. It ain't right. So, put down those shears and back off! [end gardening psa]

Gaa! Really! I think I bitched about this last year but the problem lingers. Why do people particularly those in that class of middle Americans that just can't stand anything that grows outside the lines butcher plants? Why? I can't stand it. I like nature to be a little messy, a little unkempt. I like to plant things that grow over their borders, that spill into walkways and paths. That give a softness to the rigidity of straight lines, that eradicate those lines altogether. It's probably why I'm not religious I can stand fuzziness. I don't need pat answers to imponderables. Things are things. Nature just is and I like it that way. I can accept that things just ARE. Nature knows what its doing its been doing it for zillions of years. We need to stop trying to make things be other than they are. Okay. I feel a bit better now.

What I especially like is Dusty's love of weeds. Frankly, I'm down with any "weed" that produces a flower. I let dandelions do their thing (I mean, zippy yellow flowers, edible leaves, and puff balls! What's not to love?). I embrace the bugleweed for it delicate pink flowers. I dig the whatever kind of ground cover we've got that produces these beautiful tiny blue flowers. Gorgeous. And violets! We've got white ones that sprout up in late spring that create such an amazing carpet of purple tinged whiteness. I love 'em all!

Dusty has been picking bugleweed the last few days to make bouquets for everyone. All of our juice glasses right now are brimming with the stuff. She also likes to weed (the verb now, not the noun) with me.

The one thing I do weed is crab grass or wire grass or whatever it is that likes to take over everything. While I respect its tenacity and amazing evolutionary tricks that allow it to conquer every square inch of the universe, there are places I don't want it. Plus, it does not flower. Now, you may thing this is contradictory to what I just ranted about. And, you might be right, but actually I weed more for the physical therapy than anything else.

Yes, I keep general weeds out of my vegetable and flower beds because they do usurp the nutrients and water, but on the whole, I don't worry too much about weeds elsewhere. I mostly, though, weed because I like the act of weeding. I can sit on the ground and pull things up and feel a sense of accomplishment when I slowly stand up, back aching, brow covered in sweat and mosquito bites, and look at a nice patch of just plants plants that are growing any which way they like.

I take particular care to weed around plants that have taken a leap out of the bed and gone off on their own irises and daylilies that suddenly sprout in the driveway. Clumps of daffodils that spontaneously show up yards away from where you remember planting them. I think: you broke free of the man's railroad tie! You leapt over the bricks! Go bearded iris, go! Grow and be free!

I love spring.

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4:20 p.m. ::
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