First Cattail

Today, I sweat my formerly large body working in the garden. It is a fact, weeds grow faster then pretty flowers. I’m back to where I started six weeks ago, round two of weeding. The first plot was to transplant some pachysandra to a dead spot under my windows. The new plants are doing well, but in the past weeks the chick weed, purslane, wild strawberries, and thistle have grown up to hide the newly planted ground cover. So why do I want ground cover over a thick mass of weeds? Ground cover looks better when it is established. Thick masses of weeds look just like that, thick masses of weeds.

After the first hour, I took a rest to hydrate and cool down. I found myself staring at the beds and imagining how to make them better. I was thinking that the pond looks much better now that I thinned the cattails and the irises. Something looked different about the cattails. Yes, by God it flowered, I have a genuine cattail. Why am I so excited? Because this is the first time in ten years that this plant has flowered. I remember when I got the darn thing. I went on a pond-plant hunt out in the countryside. I stopped at ditches and dug lilies, and at another ditch I spotted the cattails and dug out a clump for my pond. Why pay for horticultural materials that grow wild in streams and lakes? I got my water lilies the same way. When I thinned the cattails this spring I was on the verge of gutting them completely, but to be honest I didn’t have the strength to yank them all out. I only got the easy ones. They must have gotten the message.

After five minutes of day dreaming about all the new work I conjured up it was time attack the weeds again. Tomorrow it’ll be a new bed that I haven’t touched yet this year.

I learned one thing from this exercise i.e. never, never, never give the garden a year off. Last year I made Peggy my excuse for not working the yard, and the native perennials established a strong hold that is killing me this year. If only I can find someone who will do the work to my satisfaction, I will gladly pay to have it done.

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