Is weeding in flower beds that are hopefully going to be dug up and expanded soon sort of like dusting the furniture in a house right before you plan to tear down walls for remodeling? No?
Good, because I spent quite a bit of time yesterday weeding in my flower beds, beds I hope will soon be dug up and enlarged significantly with the new garden design.
What else was I supposed to do while I waited for it to rain?
Actually, I weeded because there were weeds and I’m a gardener. It was instinctive, compulsive, necessary. Plus, it immediately made those flower beds look so much nicer and I don’t know when they will be dug up, and I don’t want to look at a weedy mess until then.
There are several types of weeding that gardeners do, including…
Self-inflicted weeding. This is when we are weeding out the “weedlings” of flowers that we purposely planted in our gardens and swore we would deadhead so they didn’t self-sow all over. In my garden, I pulled out plenty of spiderworts (Tradescantia sp.), ox-eye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) and perennial sweet peas (Lathyrus latifolius), plus for good measure a few tansy seedlings (Tanacetum vulgare).
To my knowledge, the last time any tansy flowered in my garden was at least back in the late 90’s, so those seeds are quite long-lasting.
Of all those plants, I only wish to keep a few ox-eye daisies, pictured above with some species tulips. The rest can go to… the compost pile.
Faux weeding. We’ve all done faux weeding, admit it! We pull out dandelions and thistle getting very little root, hoping that it will at least slow the plant down. We may even be so bold as to hope that maybe this time it will actually stop those pernicious weeds. But deep down inside us, as deep down inside the ground as those roots still are, we know we’ll see those weeds again, and have to pull them again. It is faux weeding, and gives us false hopes.
Therapeutic weeding. Did I mention how good it felt to get those weeds out of the garden?
Waiting weeding. Ever find yourself standing around waiting for something to happen, and then you see a weed and decide to pull it out? Then you pull out another weed, and another? Then you see a big ol’ thistle so you go get some gloves and maybe a weeding tool or two, and something to throw the weeds into. Next thing you know, you are weeding the garden and have completely forgotten what you were actually waiting on. (For the record, I was waiting for it to rain yesterday.)
Save-yourself-from-embarrassment weeding. At some point, the weeds become so bad that we just have to weed, in case someone should stop by to see our gardens. I have unfortunately been to this point more than once, and I’ll probably be at this point again some day.
I was very close to it the other day, when I knew the garden designer was returning to mark some of the new beds. She had last seen the garden in a more “early spring” state, when there were a few weeds and I could use the excuse, “I’m just getting started on spring clean up, so please excuse the weeds”.
Now here in mid spring, it was to the point that the weeds might indict me as a lazy gardener. I sure didn’t want that, so I ran around and did all kinds of save-yourself-from-embarrassment weeding to make it all look just a little nicer.
Yesterday, I practiced all four kinds of weeding. Self-inflicted weeding, faux weeding, waiting weeding, and save-yourself-from-embarrassment weeding.
Someday, I hope the garden is all under control and I can just occasionally do regular weeding, whatever that is.