Just One Thing To Do This Week: Weed It Out

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

I was delighted after several weeks of unpredictable weather to be out in the garden again, but, I was a little “less-than-delighted” with the state of my garden. Weeds were everywhere and I spent the better part of the day pulling them out by their roots, or trying anyway.

I enjoy the day-to-day maintenance of a beautiful bloom-filled garden, but I have several week-ends of work ahead of me before I can enjoy that phase of the experience.

Another problem I have to get a grip on – I am not a great gardener. In early stages of growth I have trouble discerning weeds from flowers and I inadvertently rip out the flowers I bought and planted the year before, all the while tenderly nurturing the weeds into a healthy, happy, verdant patch. I have been thinking there has to be an easier way…

There are several definitions for weed but I will share just the first, according to Merriam-Webster: Definition of WEED: 1: a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants.

I was born and raised in Phoenix. Anything that wasn’t brown or covered with thorns I deem lush and wanted vegetation. I think a green plant that grows vigorously should be considered extremely desirable. Weeds will grow when there is a drought. They are the hardiest survivors of pests and disease.

Who have I been influenced by to think a plant that is hardy and green and prolific is deemed undesirable? I am guessing it is probably those Monsanto people.

What would happen if I lovingly cultivated weeds in my gardens as I do my flowers? Then they wouldn’t be weeds anymore, right? Tah-dah! Weed problem solved. All I had to do is accept and welcome them into my garden and they become desirable. Well, that was easy.

Or was it? Don’t waste your time googling “weed-acceptance” “weed tolerance” or pretty much anything having to do with weed. It won’t be helpful on this particular issue.

Now my brain is trying to tell my heart that a weedy garden is desirable, but my heart isn’t listening. It is lusting after the beautifully cultivated bloom-filled gardens it sees in magazines and on TV, even though I know real gardens hardly ever look like that. I have once again succumbed to media images and this time it has followed me into the garden. Argh!

The garden is supposed to be a place where you get to relax and uproot all those nagging thoughts. I guess I have to do some more weeding…

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