Unintended plants in my garden
Last growing season the garden had the opportunity to go its own way while I was traveling--two separate times over a week each. Each time, the unintended plants (read: "weeds") took advantage and carpeted the ground with their lush green presence. It was bright and lively, but the intended plants were screaming "Help!"
Arriving home from the first trip after dark, the first thing I did was grab a flashlight and inspect the garden. Oh my. What a profusion of laughing, taunting weeds, as far as the flashlight beam might flash.
My field biology teacher in high school maintained that there was no such thing as a weed, just a California native. And on the grander scale he is right, since it is only our preferences that determine who belongs in our garden and who doesn't. As for me--let the natives play elsewhere, I'm growing food!
But I paused a moment in the garden yesterday and wondered if I could somehow make friends with the unintendeds. After all, they do appear to be winning the battle, and I need to find a different tack. Perhaps they provide a service as a place holder until I can get the preferred plants in. And they do make the garden look green. Isn't that better than the look of scorched earth or gray pavers squashing the life out of the soil? So I'm going to shake hands with and express gratitude to my unintendeds--before I relocate them--and grant them the opportunity thereafter to add their efforts to my compost pile. Yes. I've decided finally to compost them, overcoming my fear of spreading their seeds, for 1) there are so many of them I don't know where else to put them, and 2) I'm determined to compost well enough to overcome weed seeds.
I don't know if making friends with these unintended plants is more a matter of attitude, or if there is an action to take, but at the least, I don't want to feel like I'm constantly in a green battle.
We will see.
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