Oh, what a tangled mess we leave when first we practice to believe . . . that we know what we’re doing.
This little mangled ditty came to mind earlier when I looked around my yard and saw the jungle-like garden areas that once were filled with dainty wildflowers. Because of all the moisture this year, gardens that, in the past, have barely managed to survive the summer, have grown into . . . well, into tangled messes. Green messes, for the most part, though a few flowers do manage to bloom.
The grass weeds, like Bermuda grass and foxtail, are growing out of control, choking the plants I want. I didn’t know there were so many types of grass here in this yard because when I came, the “lawn” was a field of broadleaf weeds with some patches of Bermuda grass. If there had been more Bermuda grass and fewer weeds, I would simply have watered the Bermuda grass so that it would spread, but unfortunately, the weeds spread faster than the grass, so I took the easy way out and sodded a large part of the yard.
As it turns out, sodding the yard wasn’t the easy way of solving the weed issue. Now I have a lawn that the Bermuda grass is invading and flowerbeds that the various foxtail grasses — as well as broadleaf weeds, of course — are taking over. I was doing well for a while, keeping on top of the weeds, but with the last couple of rains, there was such an explosion of green (everywhere except the brown swath of my lawn that still remains brown), that I’ve mostly given up. I’d spent the past month or so pulling Bermuda grass out of my lawn, yanking up kochia and ragweed as tall as my knees from the still uncultivated areas, and gathering foxtail seedheads from places in my garden when I couldn’t reach the whole clump of grass, and now my knees are protesting.
With my knees on strike, I’ve been trying to break the habit of pulling up weeds when I see them, but it’s a hard habit to break since the weeds are hard to ignore, and they need to be taken care of before they can do serious damage. Still, the hiss of pain when I stoop helps remind me to take it easy, which is good for my knees, but not so good for the tangled mess I’m left with.
I keep reminding myself that eventually the summer will end and the summer grasses and weeds will die no matter what I do or don’t do now, and then I’ll be able to clear away everything at once (weeds and defunct annuals) to get ready for next spring.
Meantime, that little mangled ditty keeps looping around in my head, taunting me. Last spring, and into the summer, I did begin to believe that I knew what I was doing, but now, not so much.
On a happier note: zinnias! Or rather, one lovely green zinnia.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.