Buttercup and Bindweed Blues

Jul 14, 2012 | 0 comments

I’ve neglected the garden for several weeks now, my attention being taken by writing deadlines and other inside projects.  Yesterday I braved a close look at the south garden and was immediately sucked into a few minutes of weeding.   I might be out there still except for a sudden torrential downpour that sent me scurrying back to civilized, indoor life.

It used to be the buttercups that drove me to distraction.  They creep and crawl through lawn and flower beds inserting their determined feet amid the roots of their neighbors to the point of no extraction.  Grass, too, nestles itself among the daisies in a way that’s impossible to clear out.  Every few years, Nyel digs up the beds and patiently separates the wanted from the unwanted, root by delicate root.

‘Patience’ is not my middle name.  My instincts are to rip and tear and make it all look nice for right now.  I don’t, of course.  I force myself to get weeds by the roots when I can, a slow repetitious process that I’m obviously not suited for.  Avoiding the garden is what I do best.

And then there’s the bindweed.  Where did that come from, anyway?  I don’t remember seeing it until a few years ago and now it is everywhere.  Twisting and twining around the lupine and daisies, that bindweed grows faster than the proverbial Kansas corn. And as careful as I try to be, I can’t seem to separate it from the flowers I want to protect.  Once it’s ensconced amongst the keepers, it’s a war with severe casualties on the side of the good guys.

On occasion, I’ve been so neglectful of the garden that the pesty bindweed has had time to burst into bloom.  Only then am I reminded that these are a type of morning glory and I try to be more forgiving.  But, even their familiar, old-fashioned blossoms can’t take away my feeling that they are the evil cousin to true morning glories.  They are the bad seed.

Someone told me that the only sure way of getting rid of bindweed is to thoroughly excavate.  “Dig down about three feet and get rid of all that soil.”  Start over.

Sure, you betcha!  Like that’s going to happen!”

My answer, at least for now, is to stuff the beds with so many flowers that the weeds don’t have a chance.  Or, if they do, they go unnoticed amidst the color and glory and chaos of it all.  Damn the bindweed and full speed ahead!

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