Saturday, June 8, 2013

Just Weed

Right about now as the Lush leaps into growth at warp speed is when I begin to think, have you lost your mind? What are you thinking? Do you think you can ever selectively weed this tangle into some semblance of coherence?

But I am making progress I tell myself. The composition of the tall flower meadow has already begun to change.

You're nuts. 

I am making progress.

Just keep weeding. Ignore the fact that this is a herculean task. Keep weeding.

You're nuts.

I did use some ornamec, a grass killing herbicide, earlier this spring. That got rid of a major portion of the remaining tall fescue that had been used to hold the slope during the cabin construction years. There is no easy selective chemical solution to remove the other unwanteds. Chemically you can kill just the grasses, just the non grasses or everything. It doesn't get more refined than that. In this jumble of the tall flower meadow the rest must be done selectively by hand.

It is true I have long dreamed of a garden filled with wild flowers. On Maui they were few and far between. I collected what few there were and brought them into my garden there.

Here in North Carolina wildflowers are abundant. This piece of land in particular came fully supplied. The two long time resident gardeners nudged the wild flower population along with new additions for 25 years. I want to preserve and enhance that. Starting over with a blank slate would only allow the more aggressive things to take hold.

Left alone, a very short list of truly dominant species would take over and smother everything else. Diversity and the length of the bloom season would plummet.

I tell myself that selective weeding keeps bare ground to a minimum and prevents the thugs from rampant self sowing when they are not allowed to bloom. With less competition, the wanted will fill in the empty spaces.

Just keep weeding.

You're nuts.

Just one flower on my Kousa Dogwood this year. One.

I'll have to be satisfied for now with the fact that it is one of the plants that has quickly gone into the leap phase of growth. So many others still creep.

With store bought wild flowers, self sown wild flowers, gardener sown wild flowers and wild flowers that follow me home, plus a rigorous program of editing, the season of vegetation can bloom from beginning to end at a more reasonable mature height of five feet. A feeling of coherence could creep in over time.

That is the plan anyway.

You're nuts.

But I am making progress. The composition of the tall flower meadow has already begun to change.

Just keep weeding. Forget that it is a herculean task.


Rebecca said...

You beat me to the "herculean task" phrase. It had been churning in my mind as I read the post, and when I got to the end - there it was already!

Just keep weeding (or not). It's a beautiful slice of creation you have up there!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You are so right about it being a herculean task. I admire your tenacity. Your vision will evolve. I look forward to seeing it come alive.

Lola said...

I too was thinking a herculean task but with your vision it will be a beautiful garden. We all do what we can to enhance our gardens.

Christopher C. NC said...

It helps that I am giving myself a decade to accomplish this herculean task. No rush. Sorta.

beverly said...

I think there is always a dialogue between a piece of land and its gardener; one pushing, the other pulling, till in the end a kind of compromise is reached acceptable to both. You may never have the fully tamed garden you perhaps first dreamed of, but in time you will come to appreciate what does evolve! (you can tell this is the voice of experience, haha). And, I can see great progress already!

Gaia Gardener: said...

"Just keep weeding."

"You're nuts."

I love it! That's a conversation I have daily with myself at this time of year, especially now when I'm trying to get the buffalo grass lawn that we put in to be weedless without chemicals.

It's working, though. Each season I have less to pull out of the buffalo grass. The older flower beds are doing well enough that all I usually have to do is pull out extra seedlings from plants that I established there.

"A year of seed equals 7 years of weed." That's my other mantra as I work!

Cindy, MCOK said...

Christopher, I frequently have to remind myself of my mantra: "Get started. Keep going." It's the only way I can keep from being overwhelmed.