may all your weeds...
It is almost May! Planting season has arrived and the prospect of all things green and glorious. Amidst the thick layer of pollen making half of the mid atlantic region miserable with allergies, I am so excited about all that is in bloom.
There are beautiful daffodils, tulips, scilla and oh, those brilliant yellow forsythia. The cherry and apple blossoms, the trees leaves starting to unfurl. I literally get giddy thinking of all of this.
But, when I look at all of the fresh blooms popping up through the dirt, in all of my anticipated excitement, I know that shortly behind them are the WEEDS! Every spring and into early summer, I am a weed warrior. They got nothing on me. I pull and dig, I wrestle and wiggle and I have even resorted to using a plethora of utensils from the kitchen drawer to manhandle those stubborn stragglers. Weeds beware! The warm sun and sweat dripping off my brow only make the experience more enjoyable. And then...when the dirt begins to stick to the sweat, oh yeah, that is when I really hit my stride. Weird, right? But the satisfaction of those early days of summer, with a weedless garden are oh so worth it! I will be the first to tell you however, this excitement wears off really quickly. That humidity in July hits, and then maybe a week away vacation and BAM, my gardens have all of a sudden become the amazon rainforest of lush, thick trailing monsters. The weeds that nightmares are made of. Sometimes I suit up and go at it full heart, but more often than not lately, the weeds have won. These past few years with business booming and less time to be in my yard, I will pull the few on my way up the sidewalk, but the majority have found their spot to live out the rest of their summer days.
I have come to terms with it. I have learned to love a few of my weeds. The relentless wild morning glories that climb up my hosta shoots with their glowing white blooms opening with the sunrise; the wild violets that form in beautiful little random clusters sprinkled around the garden; stubborn yellow sunshiny dandelions, which by the way are edible; virginia creeper, which inevitably climbs it’s way up my deck railing creating a living wall; clovers that kept my kids busy for hours; milkweed, one of the only plants that monarchs lay their eggs on; pokeweed, with rich purple berries that make the perfect natural dye; and the thistle with it’s bright pop of purple bloom that always has a bumble bee perched on top. What is not to love?!?
So when your garden grows a little wild, and time is short with summer schedules, remember to glance a little bit differently at your wild untamed garden. Let the pristine pruning and meticulous lines go. Everyone’s favorite trend words these days are things like organic, elemental, and whimsical, so let’s roll with that! There is a sense of ease when you glance at your garden with new eyes and leave a few of those beauties be. Trust me. When life throws you clovers, make flower crowns!
PS~ there is one weed that I simply can not find lovable, no matter what kind of eyes I look at it with. Razor weed… and it grows all over my gardens. So for your arch nemesis of weeds, here is a simple, and cheap, chemical shy weed killer recipe that works. Easy to make and easy to store!
**In a clean milk jug combine just shy of 1 gallon vinegar, 1 cup of salt and a hearty tablespoon of blue dawn dish soap. (blue dawn is a miracle product btw!) Combine well and fill a spray bottle with solution. Use to spray weeds but it will also take out anything else it reaches, so be careful! I love this simple natural solution and I have been using the same batch for 3 years now!**