Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them-
A. A. Milne, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh
A. A. Milne, Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh
|Bella Foster for Kate Spade|
But make no mistake: the weeds will win: nature bats last.- Robert M. Pyle
The Gardens at Camp MoneyPit did not exist 6 years ago. There was literally nothing to salvage, nothing to "grow" from or keep. For a small caretaker's cottage that took over 18 months to breath life into you cannot imagine the panic that set in every time I started contemplating the landscape. Camp MP has no less than 7 different areas surrounding it , each with its own challenges...I of course chose to take them on all at once! making me long at times for my old lovely rooftop garden filled with overflowing containers and window boxes. My flaw as a gardener, as in my life, is that I want to make everything right, make it better, make it beautiful and make it into what it can and should be...I do that with people too-they don't always respond as well as the hydrangeas!
So it should be no surprise that my need to control and keep everything blooming beautifully does not really leave a lot of tolerance for weeds! Gardening for me has become the corner of my life that insists on teaching me...my gardens have a stubborn student! The gardens are determined to show me that I may hold the trowel, I may dig and amend, and plant and water, and nurture and hover, and... but I am not in charge, nor do I determine the success. I am just a "player" in this ever changing "landscape".
Every gardener will tell you that patience is perhaps the gardener's best tool. I am not the most patient...I want the "result", I want my vision realized-NOW, please! Taking on the gardens of CMP has shown me that there are small yet great victories if you wait and watch and let it happen-a Clematis, given up for lost, coming into spring with strength and showers of blooms is one reward for a lesson learned, as is a climbing hydrangea that slept then crept and now has leaped to grace the stone of the house.
It was a surprise to discover that the soil at Camp MP is good in most spots, unless you hit one of the old stone walls buried beneath. Most of the "new" residents seem happy to be here, but so do the weeds...the weeds absolutely adore it here, and they are determined to take up permanent residence-I should have them chip in for the mortgage payments!
Most days I actually do not mind weeding. True, one of life's most thankless tasks..or is it? Yanking, tugging, pulling unwelcome intruders out of the ground can actually work wonders after a long week. The weeds at Camp MP,however, are on a mission. They are determined to win, to take over, to pop up at will from the weed cloth and mulch. They arrive and start crawling about as if they were in charge...not so fast fellas, remember I am the Controlling Gardener!
This weekend I spent about hours weeding- filling three trash bins and ruining a pair of gloves. I woke up this morning, slipped on my garden sneaks, picked up the hose to water the new roses and Hello!- WEEDS!!! You know what, tomorrow there will be weeds, and the next day and certainly all summer til the frost of October I will have weeds. I will pick and pluck and pull every Saturday morning-maintenance yanking-but they will come back more determined each time to "show me". Just like in life, things grow and pop up where you don't want them...they certainly do in my world.
I have made my peace with some weeds. If you look like a pretty groundcover, if you have a delicate white flower, you might be able to hang around til you become unruly. If you are a dandelion, or your first name is "Crab" you are out of here-NOW!
The weeds at camp MP have taught me that I cannot control what grows overnight. I cannot totally stop "ugly" from happening anymore than I can stop unwelcome or sad for that matter. Yup, weeds happen! The gardens are lecturing ..."Accept that, adapt and work with what you can...make the best out of it, even learn to live with some of it."
So sure, I will continue to pull and yank the ones I can grasp, but for those that I simply cannot get to budge I will have to accept them, welcome them and make them a part of the garden til I can take a shovel and give one big tug...then I will plant hydrangeas and roses in their place to show them how Life s really done. The weeds of my garden, and my life, may crop up another day in another spot but I'll have a peony ready to put them in their place!
|Gems from the Wild Garden (1888), postcard from the Rawson Company catalog. via|