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.