With one notable exception, in my adult memory I have always had a certain knowing about what would precipitate a change in some aspect of my life. (The end of my marriage to my children’s father—both that it ended and why it ended—being the one that blindsided me.) I haven’t known the when, just the what.
As I worked in the garden this weekend, pulling out and cutting down spent vegetable and flower detritus, propping up exuberant tomato vines, and—again—edging the brick pathway, I found myself thinking about that admittedly exaggerated declaration. I know exactly what will end this garden: buttercup and whatever this weed is (I’m sure someone will know). If “bane” is not part of its name, it should be.
There was no time in July for garden maintenance, so when I finally headed up the driveway yesterday, I was quickly overwhelmed. That was after the 30-minutes distraction before I got there, pulling two barrow loads of blackberry vines from one side of the driveway and not nohow getting them all.
The first order of business: the tomatoes had to be propped up before the vines break. Now there is a little village of tomato cages outside the box that the man who mows the meadow and generously weed eats the garden—though rather randomly—won’t be able to cut around.
Next year I will try the maters in the A-frame I made to keep the squash from spilling out of the box. The squash have not been prolific; I don’t think they like the frame. I don’t know why I haven’t thought of it before. In good news, there are more squash blossoms this year than last.
Meanwhile, the vines of the miniature pumpkins I planted for the first time just because I had an extra box that nothing has thrived in, are running amok. I tucked the vines up into the box.
Slugs, I imagine, ate the green beans plants after just one picking. I reapplied slug bait, but I’m pretty sure it’s too late. On the other hand, I did, for the first time, have some luck with parsnips in a deeper box.
I didn’t get out of the house early enough yesterday, then there were the blackberries, and it quickly got too hot to stay long in the garden that gets the early sun. I also spent too much time ripping the leaves off the buttercup instead of uncovering bricks. And the buttercup will grow right back. But then, so will the bricks get covered back up. Fortunately the moles haven’t been too active—yet, anyway—so they aren’t buried under dirt.
Today I was out at 7:30 and closed my eyes to the driveway vegetation. I got an hour and a half of path clearing done before I was in full sun. Another hour and it was done. And I was overheated. Maybe tomorrow I will break out my human-powered mower and see if I can make the “grass” look better.
One day this will be too much. And it will probably happen before I leave this property. I will want to sit under the umbrella on the deck and write. Or hike. Or take a nap. Not scrape bane-in-the-ass weeds off the little patio I didn’t put plastic under and pull it out of the pea bed. Not battle the buttercup. They are going to win. I’m not even trying to beat the violets for now. I like them. Picking my battles.
Some day this meadow may have a house or two in it and some excavator will dig up bricks buried three feet under the dirt the moles covered them with and the buttercup anchored there and wonder what the heck used to be here. Maybe construction will halt while an archaeological dig is conducted.
But there is a bright spot in this work now: there are snacks! And there is beauty and promise. And that is hopeful.