|I also weeded in Ploppers’ Field this weekend
I started mowing as I always do. Next to the driveway by the bed which borders the part of the garage that was built for storage.
I headed east a few paces, turned north and mowed next to the garage. There is, of course, a planted area next to the garage. I surely do not like it when people only plant a few shrubs in front of the house and then let the grass grow up to their house on the sides. Boring.
The side of my house by the garage has a raised border with retaining stone around it because there is a slight slope down from the garage there. Every time I mow around there, I think about how I should trim along those stones, but I don’t.
Then just as I mowed past the garage border and turned slightly to the west to mow along the border beside the rest of house, I saw it.
The invisible weed.
Only this time, it was not invisible. It was nearly six feet tall, double branched, and as nasty a specimen of thistle as I’ve even seen, with huge spiny thorns and massive leaves covered with tiny, spiny thorns. And I had caught it out in the open, growing up beside the air conditioner unit, no longer invisible as it must have been the entire time it was growing until just that moment.
For whatever reason, it didn’t expect to see me, nor I it.
Never under estimate the element of surprise to catch your enemies.
What did I do when I came face to face with this enemy? I stopped the mower, went to the garage and armed myself for battle with thick gloves, a sharp pair of pruners and a weeder. Then I went back to face my enemy, my foe, the one who was threatening my garden.
I half expected it would be invisible again, but there it was and now it is no more. I chopped it down, foot by foot, dug out its roots and threw it all into the trash. I didn’t stop to take a picture. There was no time for that.
And then, as though I encounter and vanquish this size of weed every day, I proceeded to finish my mowing, all the while contemplating how weeds can make themselves invisible and then Bam! They are huge and gnarly and ready to flower and cast their seeds everywhere.
We gardeners must remain ever vigilant. The enemy, the weeds, know so many tricks to thwart our efforts to rid our gardens of them.
They make themselves invisible.
They disguise themselves as other plants.
They grow up through other plants, daring us to take them out, when they know taking them out will mean we must sacrifice a plant we love. It is as though they are holding the other plants hostage.
We can’t let the weeds win. We can’t. Spend the time weeding. Look critically around at all their usual hiding places. You know where they are. Under trees, where they trick birds into eating their seeds and then pooping them out. Around the edges of borders, next to the fence, in the vegetable garden, behind the compost bins.
Seek them out. Clear them out. Don’t let the weeds win.