18 May 2005

Nature, my enemy

I got in my head I wanted to get the weeds and grass out of my herb garden.(I use the term loosely since I only have a couple of herbs and a few flowers). I know we're moving, but it was just something I wanted to do. It felt like something I needed to do. I realized today as I was wrestling shrubage from the earth that my gardening is a love-hate relationship. I love the flowers, herbs, an nice things that grow. I'm not sure I actually like the act of gardening.

Have you ever seen an area that was once a yard or a nice garden that has been left uncultivated a year or two? Nature is vicious. It takes over the once nice little patch with an intensity that I find fascinating and frightening. I believe we're to be good stewards of nature, but I also see that it can certainly take care of its own.

And how come Martha Stewart or garden people on TV can just push their trowel into this lovely fresh, dark, loose dirt? I have to beat a big shovel into the ground and fume and fuss to open up a hard rough hole that my plant sort of fits. They must have a staff that unloads bags of potting soil onto the ground so they can make it look that easy.

It can be satisfying to work hard and get dirty gardening, but usually my back is killing me and at some point I've scuffed and scraped myself. Today my enemy was these "weed trees" that's what my mom calls them. They are all the trees that propagate themselves enthusiastically in every crack of sidewalk or any other microscopic spot of dirt. I don't want these in my herb garden. I have dug and hacked at these seedlings for several years trying to remove them. Each year the little stick I couldn't get out turns into another tree.

I found a tool in the garage today that is used for scraping tile off floors. It also said it was good for cutting roots. Ha-ha. Perhaps this would help me. It wasn't pretty and I grunted like a maniac, but I won. The little trees were all cut off below dirt level. Probably they can still come back but the stick part is now gone. Score one for me.


  1. I feel for you. As a former "deweeder" for my mom and her gardens I know exactly what you are talking about. Regarding my yard/fence area---weed trees are the worst. I love pretty flowers too...but I would not have the patience to maintain a garden.

  2. I can say that as I was present while you wrested the treacherous root from the earth - the root that you had been fighting for a number of seasons - I was glad it was not one of my vital organs that you were holding up to the sky with wild-eyed glee! Actually, watching you in the garden is one of my favorite pastimes...

  3. Glad you were victorious over the "weed trees." If I ever find one of those things in my yard, now I know to use a tile floor scraper!

  4. Gardening is still better than lawn care.