I spent the last weekend of July weeding my 16’x18′ perennial garden. This is a chore I do about once a year. Last year I did it around July 4th and then literally didn’t garden for the 3 consecutive weeks because I injured my back somehow in the process.
This year I was smarter about it. I didn’t bend from the waist constantly like last year. I sort of crab-walked around. Needless to say, I still discovered muscles I didn’t know I had in the arches of my feet, my ankles–you get the idea.
But I’m a committed hand-weeder and as such, this chore needs to be done. And it’s a bit easier when the weeds are a bit taller so they come out by the fistful. Lest you think I’m kidding, here’s what I’m dealing with.
Unfortunately, the area around the garden also has to be weeded because otherwise it will seed and all those weed seeds will just get into the garden and I’ll be back to square one. I suspect that’s how it got so bad to begin with–never mind the fact that nature abhors a vacuum. This is what I’m dealing with there.
I love Larry Weaner and his sort of “back to nature” philosophy of letting the land tell you what to plant, but unfortunately all my land tells me is that I have a lot of weeds and invasive plants to eradicate. Each year it seems I’ll have a different one running amok. I’ve pretty much got most of the garlic mustard under control (although I found a few that had gone to seed in the garden so that will be back to haunt me next year. Ideally I’ll get the rosettes next time). Last year I was working on smartweed. I haven’t even begun to tackle the plantain or creeping Charlie. Where are my lovely native plants?
Actually, in all of this I do have a sweet little St. Johns wort–very tiny–that looks just like a weed–and comes up everywhere. It’s in the lawn, all my flower beds, between the cracks in the walkways–so it behaves like a weed too. It would take over a bed that is all hydrangeas if I let it. I don’t. So there’s my native plant–I just pull it out like another weed. I don’t think that’s what Larry Weaner is talking about, somehow.
When I’m finished, this is my result. I’m not fanatical about getting every last weed because I know they’ll be back and I’ll need to do “touch up.” But at least I won’t need to spend a weekend on this project again–until next year.