WARNING: THIS POST ISN’T PRETTY
The month of August has had me thinking – thinking deeply, big, small, expansive, narrow, in circles, with direction … I breathe a huge sigh just “thinking” about the thinking I’ve done. I used to find solace in the garden. It used to quiet my mind. It was my church, my sacred space, my meditation, but now all I see is chaos – much like my office/studio. I can’t help but feel that I am falling apart and my tower, my world, is overrun and toppling down.
Bishop’s weed always gets away from me. It engulfs this poor beautiful Fernspray Cypress. This poor cypress that endures heavy loads of snow and ice through winter, and tangles of bishop’s weed through summer. Should I give in? Move the cypress to a better spot – oh, but where would that be? Start over with something more pyramidal that the dreaded weed can’t grow through? The bishop’s weed takes over the cypress, the jewelweed takes over the Dogwood (that badly needs more pruning), the bindweed takes over everything else. A catchy little verse: the bishops weed is connected to the cypress, the jewelweed is connected to the dogwood, the bindweed is connected to everything …
This is just the beginning of my garden. I walk on. And what’s this? Oh, MORE bishop’s weed setting up shop under the maple.
Under this muppet monster of a flowering raspberry shrub is a spice bush fighting for its life, a Pagoda trying to rise above, flag iris that have succumbed, a big bluestem that has well, never become big. Yes, I cringe each time I walk by. After all, I am walking death row.
Under all these rudbeckia and cup plant? Three winterberry and what used to be a lovely river rock path. I can’t even plant beneath the repurposed trellis as I can’t get to it.
Walking on, still checking off what seems a nearly impossible list of things that need to be done, I stumble upon the strawberry invasion. Yes, I have to walk upon strawberries – that is my path – better than burning coals, I suppose. More rudbeckia. More cup plant. More violets. More? … too much.
The Asparagus forest holding out against perilla. The horseradish losing the battle.
Hosta row? Completely covered in clematis.
That weed patch I so picked apart and destroyed last year? Back with a vengeance.
The ugly truth is my garden has gotten away from me – far away from me, and breaking up is hard to do! I try to console myself that it is wild, natural, evolving but the ugly truth is that my garden and I are growing apart. I have lost touch with it somehow – that spiritual connection is waning – and I feel, well, lost. Will we ever “get back together?” We need therapy! Blood, sweat, and tears.
My dream summer gardening job is taking its toll on my own garden even though I swore it wouldn’t. I fear a few more years decline and I can’t help but think … what will become of my own poor garden??? The ugly truth is that my dream gardening job is nothing more than “glorified weed laborer” and it is the last thing I want to do when I get home, or on a Saturday. Yes, there, gardening has become work and therein lies the problem.
What should I do? I love my garden, I need my garden. I need to restore my faith.
My last grit of fight is to take a LOT of time this fall to rip out, edge, weed with the hopes that I can jump ahead of next spring or at least maintain a steady pace. I am thinking about taking out ALL the rudbeckia and most of the cup plant. I am thinking I will move the spicebush in a last ditch survival method. I am thinking I will dig up those strawberries and contain them in a new, raised bed. I am thinking I will mulch, mulch, mulch. I am thinking I will hire myself! Then, I will have to think about ways I can get back together with my garden.
What about you? Has your garden ever gotten away from you? Please share your comebacks!