Lots of times I’m glad to be living in Southern California where winters are mild and things hardly ever freeze. Today’s one of those amazing winter days: brilliantly sunny, warm–and it’s the middle of February. But there are down-sides. Thousands of them.
What I’m talking about of course are the weeds popping up everywhere in the yard. After a wet January, as the days begin to warm, nothing has a stronger life-wish than the seeds that have been lying dormant in the soil. So now there are wild patches of grasses, oxalis, spurge, dandelions and all sorts of other green matter making a break from the cool security of the earth. Not that I blame them. I’m starting to feel motivated myself to break out of the heated house and spend some time in the sunshine outside. But at the same time I’m starting to think a lot about one of the quotes I listed last time, a couple lines by David Cooper:
The life of a serious gardener is not one that, as it happens involves some gardening. Instead, it is one partly define by the structured, regular activities which are imposed once the decision to grow and to garden is made.
In cooler climates, even serious gardeners get unbroken weeks indoors to pore over plant and seed catalogs full of more blooming things than you’ll see in any botanical garden. That’s an activity I love doing as well. Today lots of these catalogs are online, giving the smaller grower an opportunity to showcase their plants, and the offerings are as spectacular as ever. A couple of interesting ones I’ve been looking at lately:
Sarracenia Northwest (cool carniverous plants)
Las Pilitas (California native plants)
But the weeds wait for no one. Jeez, sometimes I wonder if I have the strength to take on a patch like this one, a severely underloved corner of the garden guarded by a spiny pachypodium and overrun with the neighbor’s ivy:
And then there’s this little patch of dirt that until recently held some berries that had been overrun with all sorts of invasives. I took it down to bare earth a month ago, and the weeds are starting up in it already:
But what can you do? Let it go back to nature? Pave it over? For a garden with not enough planting space for those amazing plants in those plant catalogs, niether of those seem like reasonable options. So…what will I do with my weekend? I’m sure it’ll have something to do with weeding….