I call the little front patch my Darwinian garden, because I throw a bunch of things in there and see what survives. But that designation isn’t entirely accurate, because I do attempt to keep the weeds down so whatever I’ve tried to plant has a chance to grow.
This spring has been unusual, it seems, in the amount of rain and the continuing chilly weather — with the rain urging the weeds to grow and the cold keeping me from yanking them out. At the beginning of April they were a pretty addition to the garden, covering the dirt and tangling the dead leaves in a carpet of green with delicate white flowers. But now the weeds have taken over the little patch, thwarting any efforts to plant by making me Do Something About Them.
Yesterday as I spent a second hour in the dirt, I was thinking about how much these weeds are like so much else in my life. I saw the signs and could have done something earlier, but it wasn’t going to be pleasant. So I avoided it, and now the job is much harder. Now these things have roots, and I have to get in the dirt. I have more to carry out, and I’ve left new seeds behind that I’ll have to deal with later. The task seems overwhelming. Oh, and all this digging around makes me sick. (Allergies, you know.)
Sounds like everything else I’ve avoided. Clutter. Decisions. Relationships. Even the friggin’ economy fits the weed metaphor.
So maybe that’s why, when the weather gets warm, I don’t mind the hours in the garden. Because there, with some time, energy, and a willingness to work, I can see concrete results. All the digging makes the soil ready for something new to take hold. What I plant is up to me, and how those plants grow is always somewhat of an experiment. The pumpkins might peak too soon, or the cantaloupes may take over the mums. Last summer morning glories just showed up, curled around what appears to be a new flowering tree.
How are you tending your garden?
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