Entries in weeding (2)


Weeds and World Problems in the May Garden

An established moss path is low maintenance, but it does need to be kept free of leaves and debris, and it needs to weeded once in a while. Weeding my moss paths in the woodland garden is a mindless, repetitive chore, and I enjoy doing it.An overview of the May woodland garden

I use a thick old canoe cushion to protect my knees while kneeling, and I take my time. I like to do this after a rain because weeds come up more easily. I use several types of weeding tools, depending on the weed. One of my favorites is a fishtail weeder that is perfect for popping small weeds out of the paths and for getting up the tap roots of plants like dandelions.The main moss path in the woodland garden

When I am weeding I let my mind drift. I listen to the birds. I make a mental list of other needed chores and plan future projects for the garden. I think about people I know, and in general I mentally solve the problems of the world as one weed after another succumbs to my efforts. If only world problems could be so easily eliminated. World problems do, after all, have some resemblance to weeds.A favorite view of the little bridge in the woodland garden

Summer arrived this month, and the air is thick and warm and laden with moisture. The woodland garden is a deep green retreat from the hot glare of the sun. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to enjoy sun rays that filter through the canopy. We have had plenty of rain this past week, and often the light sparks off leaves still wet with raindrops. I can almost imagine myself walking in a primordial paradise, except for the weeds, which quickly bring me back to reality.

More views around the garden this month:

Here is a view across the front lawn.The woodland garden is in the small valley on the far side of the drive.

Views of the front garden

A view across the lower front lawn near the entrance to our propertyA tropical storm is headed our way in the next day or so. Lots of rain, and more weeds coming! 

Happy gardening to you; and, while we can't solve all the world's problems, may we each do whatever we can in our little corner of the world to make the world a better place.   Deb


Early Spring, Conquering Weeds

Forsythia and early spring daffodils are beginning to bloom in the front garden.Signs of spring are everywhere in the garden: spots of chartreuse green emerging along branches; emerald shoots pushing out of the earth; flower buds swelling till their lustrous, candy colored contents are released; birds singing and performing courtship dances in the air; children playing outside, their shouts and laughter carrying through the woods from an adjacent neighborhood. Rosa rugosa 'Alba', emerging from dormancy

Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles)

Daphne odora 'Marginata' (Variegated winter daphne)



Summer snowflakes (Leucojum aestivum). Despite the name, these bloom in early spring for me.

And weeds, lots and lots of weeds.

It was a particularly pleasant day, and I spent a good portion of it on my knees in the garden, or else sitting on my rump, happily pulling weeds. After several days of rain earlier in the week, the ground was soft and many of the weeds came out easily. 

There are three main ways I get rid of weeds:

Simply chopping the tops off at ground level is a temporary esthetic fix, but pulling them out by the roots is far more effective. I love my hoematic, a versatile tool that is indispensable for getting them out by the roots.My well used hoematic

Smothering weeds with a good layer of mulch is a quick way to beautify the garden. For areas with heavy weed cover I use newspaper, brown paper sacks, and even cardboard layered over the ground, then topped with an attractive mulch, such as  pine straw or pine nuggets.

I limit the use of herbicide, but I do use it for truly obnoxious weeds like poison oak.

I don't mind weeding. I let my thoughts drift as I mechanically attack the chore. I think about God, about relationships, about garden design. I ponder politics and compose blog posts. I wonder at the force that causes these unwanted plants to erupt by the thousands. They appeared almost overnight, and already many of them, even the babies, are producing flowers, determined to churn out another generation before I hack them to death.

Weeds grow year round in my climate. Even in winter, on milder days, it is a good idea to grab a few in passing. If I pull ten weeds, I am preventing hundreds of wanton offspring. On days dedicated to weeding, I am euphoric over the unnumbered multitudes that have been thwarted. I am not discouraged that I have removed a mere bucket from an ocean of weeds. I focus on what I have done, rather than on what I can never do.

I will not conquer all weeds. That's OK. I enjoy the battle, for it gets me into the garden, where I experience the earth and watch the good guys grow.Grape hyacinth