Sure, gardening can be plagued by the Goldilocks syndrome: Seldom are conditions just right. Rain falls too infrequently — or too often; temperatures are too low — or too high. The air can even be too windy or too still.
And converting a lawn into an edible landscape is no small endeavor. Enticing century-old grass to give up the ghost in favor of flowers, fruits and vegetables can’t be accomplished with a mere Bewitched wiggle of the nose. (Although many’s the time I wish it could!)
But the hours this spring spent removing valerian seedings that had sprouted in a 30-foot wide windward swath away from the three mother plants that I carefully nurtured from purchased seed? That’s all me.
Who knew this companion herb that’s said to be good anywhere in the garden will soon be everywhere in the garden unless it’s deadheaded immediately after blooming? We sure do now!
Or the ocean of sea oats — a lovely native grass that sways in the wind and turns a delicate bronze in the fall — that mocks us from a firmly entrenched home where I now want gooseberry bushes? Again, that’s all me.
Who knew I’d change my mind and it wouldn’t want to leave?
Or the mint and thistle and goutweed that compete with and threaten to overtake the currants and elderberries near the front sidewalk? Again, me.
Who knew when we transplanted tulip and daffodil bulbs, little bits and pieces of so many non-desirables would tag along?
But at least I’m not the only one costing us hours of remedial labor. At the moment, we have a delightful curve of grass-gone-to-seed bisecting two growing areas. This two-foot wide field of stubborn turf — that demands back-breaking shovel work to remove — lies directly along where a future stone path will run.
This one is all Kevin’s. (Although I didn’t protest, because I wasn’t thinking this one through either!)
Last year he placed flat stones slated for use along what we had mapped out to be a main artery from the grapes to the porch. Might as well, he reasoned. Besides it’ll help keep the weeds at bay.
Who knew those stones would actually offer heat protection to wandering roots and make all that grass harder to remove?
On second thought, these aren’t headaches. They’re migraines.
Pass me some aspirin, please!