I have been feeling quite smug with the garden lately, especially after the epic panic gardening session I had last week for the garden visit… gosh was that just last week?! So much has happened since then. But since then I have just been giving the garden a cursory bit of love here and there. I’ve been taking the time and the opportunity to get Hubby the Un-Gardener to help me with a project requiring power tools and the collective creativity of two non-technical minds to get something remotely suitable constructed to fit the vision in my head. So, the garden has become a bit of an extension of my store cupboard and I only really reach out into it to get something for dinner. Even the watering has been taken care of, thanks to an abundance of rain. This also comes as a great relief as now we can do basic things like no longer having to choose between having a shower or doing the dishes or having multiple cups of tea!
So essentially – as far as the garden was concerned, I’d taken my eye off the ball. Until today. But then it didn’t take much of a look to see the problem that had crept into my garden. All over the paths, the paths of lovely black sand, was a bit of a green glow. I hadn’t given the paths much attention over the summer as the sand was so hot that nothing bothered it. It got so hot it was impossible to walk on with bare feet and when we tested it with my infrared thermometer in the very height of summer the sand measured up to 81ᵒC! The sand paths seemed bomb proof and a great solution in my garden. The sand was already there, so why use anything else? Although I do have to refill the occasionally dog hole, thanks to Jasper the Dog, but even then, I’d rather he dug in the paths than in the beds.
This morning, after a night of heavy rain I headed into the garden for my cursory glance and noticed it straight away – teeny tiny weeds, popping up everywhere. It is pretty much the same weed over the entire garden with a few opportunistic weeds of other types among them. But this teeny tiny insignificant little thing has almost overnight taken over my garden in matter of days. Individually it is so small that one on its own wouldn’t be noticed but collectively it would be a disaster if left to do its thing.
At this point it is easy enough to take care of, a simple sweep of the hoe will uproot it and un-anchored it will shrivel and die on the surface. But as the garden is so big, it is a lot of work to hoe all the paths, and I’m already feeling blisters forming on my hands as I take care of it. It will take more than one day to hoe the whole garden, and I suspect I will need to start again at the beginning with the hoeing once I’ve finished as there will be more that will appear as there is something to be said for the old adage “one year’s seeds is seven year’s weeds.” If I am to beat this, I will be out there hoeing every day for weeks. I have had to ban the kids and the dog from the garden because they were running through the paths making it hard for me to see the weeds or work out where I’d hoed and where I hadn’t. It is just better for now if it is just me in the garden, so I know where I’m at with the control of it all.
I also need to look at the wider picture. I don’t know what it is – it is too small to tell, but I’m sure as heck not going let it stick around so I can find out. I am looking at all recently flowered and seeded plants with suspicion. It could have come from a friend or a foe. A weed or a flower. They also say a weed is just a plant in the wrong place and these are certainly in the wrong place.
So, the best way to tackle this is while it is small and manageable and keep at it until I don’t see it anymore. As I was hoeing the garden getting rid of this menace in my little world, I wouldn’t help but think of parallels to something else going on in the world beyond my garden. I am personally grateful that in that situation I am like the dog – sent inside and told to stay there. I am also extremely grateful for those working hard to get rid of the invader in our communities. Please everyone, do what you need to do to stay safe and one day soon we will all be able to walk freely on our paths again.
Come again soon – As I hoed past a couple of beds, I noticed a big harvest is due.
Sarah the Gardener : o)