March of The Weeds

DSC_0288~2It’s March and the noticeably longer days tease my gardening impulsiveness. I want to get on with the business of growing outside. The erratic weather can’t be ignored, though, and rather than transplant out I’ll have to pot up- that is, move plants to larger containers- and keep them under cover a bit longer. Rather than sow root vegetable seeds, I’ll lay more ground warming cover after spreading compost or leaf mulch.

And I’ll weed.

There’s always weeding to be done, though more so this time of year because it’s spring and that’s when weeds spring up and multiply with great abandon on every patch of bare soil.

I rarely go out with the purpose of just weeding. Instead, it gets done regularly but a bit at a time. I’m usually grabbing weeds from here and there at my discretion as I’m tending to other garden needs in the same area. Spring weeding is a bit more intentional than that- it’s part of the plan for the day, on a mental list of things to be done deliberately, sooner than later.

Fortunately, weeding the garden is a favourite task of mine. I find that the point of view from crouched down on all fours is a great way to get the lay of the land and to gain a true perspective of a garden’s whereabouts.

While growing up in Maine, I was the primary weeder in the family plot and I remember enjoying it lots. Our vegetable garden was behind my Memere’s house. It was a nice open space with tall lilac bushes lining one side and there was a pretty spectacular weeping willow in the front yard. Summers were very hot and I have the most vivid memories of taking off my shirt and pulling weeds wearing only my shorts. At age nine or so, and with no explanation that made sense at the time, my mother told me to put my shirt back on and I shouldn’t be taking it off anymore. I remember feeling like something had gone astray. Now I suppose she was trying to teach me modesty.

DSC_0353

On our smallholding, I’ve taken responsibility for the weeding– Johnny never has to worry about it, just like I never have to worry about the chicken coop being cleaned out and their bedding relined and their feed buckets refilled.

So long as we’re all happy, nothing’s being neglected and everyone’s keeping their shirt on, it’s all good.

51 Comments

  1. Singledust says:

    love the simplicity of your words and your day, touching earth, weeding, looking over your beautiful land. And its life at its most beautiful, being in touch with nature, yourself, finding peace in a mundane repetitive task. I find when I read your words a calmness descends over me and the photos you share are really very beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the smile about taking the shirt off. I spent summers on my grandparents small dairy farm in NH, and when I was that age and younger there are numerous old photos of me in my shorts with no shirt. Someone would call child welfare today. 🙂 I am the only weeder here, and I can’t say at my ‘mature’ age it is a welcome job. It gets a little harder as you age. 🙂 I also understand cold soil, and as soon as the feet of snow melt, I’ll put some black plastic on to try and warm it up. Happy gardening. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • So true about child welfare. It’s illegal in Ireland to take photos of children in public without permission from their parents. While this is obvious to me that it’s for child protection, I can’t help think it’s a bit over the top for most situations, a bit of paranoia going around.

      Do you have a polytunnel or glasshouse? I’m forever amazed how much of a jumpstart plants get from the shelter.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We built our daughter a hoop house a few years back but don’t have one ourselves. I put black plastic down on the soil and then we have plastic hoops we put up over the beds which are kind of like poly tunnels. Of course, right now I can’t even get to them because of the snow. I was outside today shoveling snow off the highest bank and putting it on the driveway so it will melt faster. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, geesh, that’s industrious of you to move the snow. You think it would take a hint and move along a bit quicker! And those mini tunnels work wonders also. The black plastic that is porous is a dream come true from a weeding perspective. Anything that cuts down the labour is always welcome.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    I started weeding way back in December when it was dry and haven’t got back to it since! But I was looking today and thinking “oh dear” there is a lot of weeds to tackle. Problem is there is a list of things building up for this weekend but it is on the list! I enjoy it more in the summer, when things are not so out of control as they are now! Happy Weeding!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Paula Hendrickson says:

    Totally love the photo of you on the tire swing. It goes with your lilting spirit about all things that grow, even the weeds. In my late 20’s and 30′ , I loved and prided myself on the big weed free garden patch and beds around the house. As my joints have aged, I’ve learned to coexist with and even tolerate the same weeds. ☺ My husband is our real gardener. I feel his restlessness to get outdoors. Soon. Wonderful blog post, M.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can live with them until they get beyond four inches wide or so, then they interfere with my other plants. Do you and your husband grow a garden now? I hope the snow melts and he can get outside soon!

      Like

  5. Ahhhh, weeds. I grow them better than anything else! I can never seem to keep up so I try to find ones that I like and live with them! Great post, as always. Returned to find the temps on the east coast 25 degrees colder than the north of France – imagine that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Denis1950 says:

    Its funny how weeds grow faster than anything else and multiply faster too in a garden. Again what is a weed and what is a plant? Some of our worse weeds in Australia are native plants in the wrong habitat.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Laurie Graves says:

    Lovely story, and what a thrill to see the word “Memere” in your post. For me there is only one real word for “grandmother” and that is “memere.”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. gaiainaction says:

    Haha, I love that Melissa, a great write up! So you are the weeder, a good division of work that you have, I too would choose the weeding but I am afraid that it would take me a long time to do as every plant would have to be studied and taken note of etc. 🙂 too enjoyable! Have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s doubtful that I’m as thorough as you but I try to look up the names of the weeds that feel so comfortable in our garden. Creeping buttercup gives me the most gratification to remove, though it honestly isn’t as fun as in my carefree days of youth!

      Liked by 1 person

    • What a difference ten days makes…we have been having warmish spring days, such a treat! Everything is growing madly now (including the weeds 🙂 ). I know you are not as blessed yet there with snow still on the ground, but at least when it gets warm in Maine, it gets warm! We are lucky to have more than a handful of days in the 70’s all year through. Weather is an interesting subject, isn’t it?!

      Like

  9. Roz Hill says:

    I am potting on too, instead of planting out. The weeding however is getting neglected in favour of all the other stuff. I keep muttering that I would rather be crafting and Phil replies you shouldnt sow so much! At this point I am managing to keep my tomato seedlings warm and willing them not to get too leggy. Your place looks stunning, so neat and tidy. Thanks for sharing your gardening journey so elequently. By the way Phil does the chickens, I do the polytunnel, so we could really do with someone else to do the weeding!!

    Liked by 1 person

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