Spring Madness Continues: Weeds Vs. Me

 

The waterfall view, Mom’s garden, spring 2015

 
My own garden is tiny as I mentioned in Spring Mad Dash. If you add up all the strips of yard I have the total maybe 1200 square feet. The process of weeding and spring cleanup is a joy.  Before the spring growth surge & after, I used it as a rest break from working in the studio.

But I’m struggling to enjoy the weeding process at Mom’s. Her gardens are larger than mine. At least 4000 square feet and every square inch needs to be weeded.  Not just the easy weeds, she’s got THOUSANDS of tree or vine seedlings.  (I took a few pictures as evidence, but they just aren’t photogenic. It just looks like a large patch of green.) I also missed a few from last fall. The survivors are now a foot taller than the shrub or boulder it was originally hiding under.  Forget about pulling them out by hand. Now it’s a shovel, digging deep narrow holes and a 5 minute tug of war.  So I can’t procrastinate on the thousands. One or two battle of wills is all I can manage. I have resorted to chemicals on one, after spending 30 minutes trying to dig it out. But it isn’t a good option with the surrounding shrubs, waterfall and strong winds. One year, she had a gardener do it. They just break or cut those at ground level, leaving me with a bigger, stronger, nastier root to battle next season.  Those are the ones I have to resort to chemical warfare. So, more professional gardeners are aggravating than doing it all myself. 

Needless to say, this gives me way too much time to think or ruminate about stuff. Grumbling about the situation doesn’t make it more enjoyable. Trying to identify the bird songs helps. Next time I’ll bring earbuds for podcast listening

Or the concept of being a process vs product knitter. Does the same concept apply to gardening?  

If so, then I’d be giving up on Mom’s garden right now.  Too bad I can throw it into a closet. I don’t know what part of THIS gardening process can be considered enjoyable. Do you?  Do you have any tips or tricks to keep going when you’re ready to give up? Knitting or gardening or otherwise?

The only thing I have right now is the old carrot and stick. The only carrot is the end results (a beautiful peaceful garden for Mom to enjoy everyday), the stick is knowing how much worse it will be if I don’t get it done now. The stick is motivating me to keep going. 

I have been playing little mind games of small goal setting (work up to that cherry tree before lunch), or alternating between tackling that two foot monster with easy oxalis , or alternating weeding with picking up branches.  That’s worked so far. But I’ve got at least 5 more full days of weeding ahead of me. 

Last fall we mulched our yard with pine straw. Worked like a charm for keeping the weeds to a minimum (cut my work load from 5 hours to 2) and prevented the rainwater coming off the roof from splashing mud onto the house. Regular mulch failed to the job. So I convinced Mom to use pine straw as a ground cover. I have spread out 28 bales over the areas I finished weeding. I’m guessing I’ll need another 15 bales to finish the back. This should save me some labor in the future. 

I am aching and sore*, spots of poison ivy rash, and for a week, stopped by mother robin and rain. She is nesting in the pine tree (I’m standing right by the tree as I photographed the garden). When I come near her tree, she dashes out and squawks at me from the safety of the pecan tree. She could abandon this nest, if I bother her too much. So weeding will have to wait until the eggs have hatched. Then she’ll be busy hunting earthworms for the hatchlings. 

The results are worth all the work. I did finish all the sections we view most. 

 

Mom’s garden, spring 2015 Robin’s nest is in the pine in the left foreground

  

Mom’s garden, spring 2015 finished weeding

 

*I might be sore for a very different reason. Namely a trip to Stitches South market. Next post. Oh my….

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