I’ve been spending more time in the garden recently and so have had less time to write on my blog. The garden has definitely been looking as though it needs tidying, deadheading and cutting back to do, and weeds are getting on top of everything!
So when the weather hasn’t been too wet I’ve been out there with my secateurs, garden fork and my dumper truck, cutting, digging and pulling up weeds – nettles, bindweed, ground elder, creeping buttercups, and other weeds whose names I don’t know.
The dumper truck is one of the best things we’ve bought recently and it has made collecting and moving weeds so much easier. Here it is empty:
and here it is full:
These weeds all have strong roots (don’t I know it!) and spread enormously with long, white runners forming a dense network. If you simply break them off they regenerate (I know that too!!). Even though I tried to get rid of these in the spring, they are still in the ground.
The nettles are difficult to tackle earlier in the year when their stings are so painful and they’re growing next to, behind, and in between rose bushes with particularly sharp thorns. What makes it worse is that their roots are the other side of the fence. At this time of year the effect of their sting is only minor and soon disappears and I managed to get at them better.
I hate bindweed – it chokes everything within its reach. I read in Richard Mabey’s book Weeds that the vernacular name for bindweed is ‘Devil’s guts’ – how appropriate.
I think I shall have to resort to weedkiller!
For more Saturday Snapshots see Melinda’s blog West Metro Mommy Reads.
I love gardens but I’m not a good gardener and I’ve always thought that I can grow weeds much better than any other plants. I read somewhere that weeds are just plants growing in the wrong place. My experience is that they are extremely hardy, grow exceptionally well and need little if any help from me – leave them to themselves and they’ll quickly fill any spaces and more on any type of soil.
I have spent hours, days, years even trying to get rid of bindweed and ground elder. No matter what I’ve tried – digging them out, which seems impossible, smothering them or dousing them with chemicals, which worked for a while,- they always comes back and kill anything growing in the way. The only benefit I can see is that the flowers are quite pretty.
So, when I was sitting in the cafÃ© in a bookshop the other week and I saw Weeds by Richard Mabey on display opposite where I was sitting I just had to have a look at it:
I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve dipped into it. Here is an extract that caught my eye as I browsed the pages:
Weeds thrive in the company of humans. They aren’t parasites, because they can exist without us, but we are their natural ecological partners, the species alongside which they do best. They relish the things we do to the soil; clearing forests, digging, farming, dumping nutrient-rich rubbish. They flourish in arable fields, battlefields, parking lots, herbaceous borders. They exploit our transport systems, our cooking adventures, our obsession with packaging. Above all they use us when we stir the world up, disrupt its settled patterns. It would be a tautology to say that these days they are found most abundantly where there is most weeding; but that notion ought to make us question whether the weeding encourages the weeds as much as vice versa. (page 12)
Is he saying we’d do just as well not doing any weeding?
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by MizB where you share €˜teasers’. I’ve adapted it a bit in this post, to include more information about the book and longer teasers.