We have reached the days of summer when we can catch a glimpse, if we squint into the glare of the hot sun, at what our gardens could become if we left them alone to fend for themselves.
Because we are leaving them alone, or at least I am.
Driven indoors on hot days when every dog, cat, and rabbit seeks out the shade from mid-morning on, I watch from the windows to see weeds take root and grow where I happily and hopefully cultivated my garden earlier in the spring.
The weeds grow relentlessly.
Thistle and morning glory. Prostrate spurge and false daisies. Foxtails and lamb’s quarters. And yes, even purslane.
They have their seasons like all flowers and these hot days of summer are their season.
It’s scary at times to think how during the hottest days of summer, we can let the garden go right to the brink of wild. It happens before we know it when it is so hot and humid. We skip a day or two or three in the garden, only running out for just a few minutes to gather a few tomatoes or some overgrown squash or to take some pictures of weeds. Then we turn around and look at the garden and see that it is on the edge, dangerously close to the brink of wild.
But I won’t let the garden go over that brink, that point of no return, or return only at great cost.
The temperatures will start to get cooler one day. The rains will come. And once again, I’ll be out in the garden pulling weeds, or at least chopping them down, making room for what I really want to see in my garden at this time of year.
It’s part of the cycle of my garden, and has been for years. I know how far I can let the garden go to the edge, to the brink, and still bring it back. It’s almost to that point now. In just a few more days, perhaps by the weekend, it ought to be right on that edge.
I’m not necessarily proud of this phase of the garden, but it is what it is and it always happens this way.
After a morning or two of weeding, and maybe an evening or two of pruning a few shrubs back, my garden should be back where I’d like it to be, away from the edge, that brink of wild and no return. It should be a place where all my weeds are wildflowers, where there is hope of a green lawn in the fall, too soon sprinkled with fallen leaves, and this year, where there is a fresh palette for the fall planting phase of my newly designed gardens.
And that pallet will hopefully be filled with a few wildflowers and other native plants, so I will have something other than weeds and words to share on Wildflower Wednesdays, hosted on the fourth Wednesday of every month by Gail at Clay and Limestone.