Weed management

1803/22nd April 2021

In late afternoon, the sun made a feeble showing, weakly illuminating spots on the facing hill.

Even then, snowflakes drifted down. There may well have been a “snowbow” out there, but I decided it was too cold to go and look. Why is it cold weather in Spring is more bothersome than in Winter?

Maybe it’s all to do with expectations.

Although, in this part of the world, my experience is that you can never expect anything, weather wise. You can start out bundled for frost and by lunch time you’re in a t-shirt. It’s how I learned to dress in layers.

And that was in my Long Island days.

There was a sort of sunset, followed by a night cold enough to freeze the bird baths, but today Spring seems to have resumed.

Doing the rounds, I had a word of encouragement with the various plants, apologizing for the coating of snow they suffered and asked them not to give up.

Mostly, I talk to plants in my head, though I’ll murmur a word or two here and there, “hello, tree!” etc.

But I have a confession.

When I was in the driveway the other afternoon, I spotted a bramble bush sprouting in leaps and bounds. In principle, I have nothing against brambles, except they are too keen to overpower everything in reach, which seems a trice unfair.

Last year I made the decision that, in future, I would attempt to snip brambles off as soon as I spotted them, as I grew tired of having my arms shredded when I attempted to rescue other plants from their grip.

The driveway bush had escaped my attention, so I went to get the clippers again.

Then I stood facing it, with its lovely green shoots, its exuberant appearance, and I felt bad. Was it fair to cut the thing down? Plants can feel too.

So as I started to clip, I said “sorry!” and felt mean. “But you get too big and choke everything up!”

“No problem,” it replied, “I’ll grow back, meanwhile, take this!” as it swiped me savagely and inserted thorns in my fingers.

My mother had no such compunctions about dealing with weeds or uncooperative plants of any kind and she would look at me with raised eyebrows if she heard me say that I intend to allow dandelions to grow freely in future, wherever they happen to choose.

In my previous garden, I expended far too much time and energy in the dandelion war and for what? Dandelions always won. Besides, those little yellow flowers are cheerful.

Dandelions don’t scratch or hog someone else’s space.

Hence my philosophy of weed management.

Em, I’d hardly call it philosophy.

On the road to the vet, this morning, with Blackie and Tinkerbell, the last two reluctant check-up cats.

Relieved to report no really bad findings for anyone.

Well, Toby who has always been a bony boy, has blood results that indicate possible very early stage kidney problems, maybe the beginning of hyperthyroidism.

So, we can’t quite celebrate. “Kidney” is like a swear word in a cat household. We can try to feed the boy a kidney diet and we’ll do whatever is possible to delay going down that road yet one more time.

For now the boy is fine.

10 thoughts on “Weed management

  1. I always think it’s a shame that people don’t like weeds such as dandelions. Mind you, I show brambles no mercy!
    many thanks for following my blog.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. This year dandelions are thriving everywhere. It’s a sea of yellow, like rape seed. We have a lot of pretty weeds and I enjoy them. Look forward to reading more of your stories. I am a Londoner too…or was!

  2. Always worth remembering that a “weed” is just a plant growing where you don’t want it to. When I had a garden on Long Island I had a terrible weed infestation of the most delicious peppery rustic arugula. (I know, not helpful.)

  3. Oh, absolutely. The only ones i object to are those that strangle our trees and other plants. Many trees here have been badly damaged and then they don’t withstand winter. Curious…where on LI?

  4. East Quogue. A nondescript house with a huge garden with soil that was diggable and tillable (being basically sand!) The big challenge – apart from the weeds – was keeping the soil from returning to basic beach. (I was actually not close to the water.) So compost, green manure, and all the rest were the order of the garden days.

  5. I left LI in 2000, have no desire to go back. I believe it’s quite mad these days. When My aunt and uncle bought their Syosset house in 1952 it was all farmland. I ran away from Seattle to escape building of condos and endless expansion.

    1. Well- as you can imagine – the covid Hamptons “scene” is basically out of control silly. (Based on what I have heard.) And getting out there is one big traffic jam on the L.I.E.

      That’s been the case for four decades. So I can only imagine now. Want to avoid traffic? Then leave at 2am on a weeknight and expect delays!

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