Three days of rain

Three days of light but persistent rain, and the mystery weeds in the vegetable bed have the upper hand.  The more I scrape them out, the faster they grow.  I can’t identify either of them, but I’m satisfied there are only two.  One has leaves like lemon balm, and one has diamond shaped leaves and a trailing aspect.  I’ve pulled each out carefully to check that they’re not breaking away from a bulb of any sort, given my issues with oxalis and onion grass, but no, they really seem to come on a fine thread that belongs to nothing, slips out of the earth without breaking, and the next day there’s just as much. I haven’t the slightest idea how either of them propagates.

But I do have a strong childhood memory of mum weeding clover by hand out of the lawn when I was eight or nine.  I had no idea why this was so important to her, but as I perch on my haunches picking crossly at these two invaders, I remember her in exactly this pose, absorbed in removing clover piece by piece.

P. says he admires my Sisyphean commitment to this task, and I do appreciate the cautionary and protective undertone. It’s a very gentle way of mentioning futility. (He also draws on his store of military knowledge to mention, again very kindly, that a war of attrition often meant in practice: attrition on both sides.)

To console myself I went to the garden store and bought a punnet of potbound and dried-up cornflower seedlings that were at the end of their tether. When I thumbed them out into the dirt I was really glad to be able to offer them some respite.

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2 Comments

Filed under Compost, Family, Gardening

2 responses to “Three days of rain

  1. Diamond shaped leaves, trailing aspect…bindweed shoots? The seeds are tiny and can wait in the soil for years. They come out of the ground easily enough at a couple of inches, but let them get wound around something, and it’s all over but the crying. For years.

  2. I hear you. The tenacity of bindweed really astonishes me. No, the vegetable patch weed is something else. It’s low to the ground, and seems shallow in the soil, but as much as I think I’ve cleared it out, back it comes.

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