We have a Creeping Charlie invasion. It spreads through all the flower beds and into the lawn. This year, my husband sprayed the lawn with several applications of weed-killer which yielded spectacular results. Now it’s time for the flower beds…
Not wanting to kill my plantings, I am hesitant to spray any weed-killer near the beds—I’ve invested too much time and energy into these flowers to let them die. After some research, I found that pulling the Charlie by hand, then smothering the remains with newspaper is an effective option. However, seeing as though we do not subscribe to the local Press Gazette, we have no newspapers.
My immediate reaction was to get whiney and give up. I didn’t want to bother anyone to ask them for their old papers. I wasn’t comfortable asking local businesses to save some for me. I didn’t want to make the effort to go to the recycling center and collect some. I didn’t want to spend the money to subscribe to the paper either. It was amazing to me the number of reasons I could find to put off the project.
After realizing all the stumbling blocks I was setting up for myself, I came to my senses; and now, with gratitude, I happily collect old papers from my neighbors and friends. Good bye, Creeping Charlie!
WEED: MAKING EXCUSES
SEED: SUCCESS IS UP TO ME
There is an ancient Silver Maple tree in our backyard. It stands above all the other trees on our block. Every spring it showers us with thousands of whirlybird seeds. I’ve been cleaning up these helicopters for months now. I’ve raked them out of the lawn and the flower beds. I’ve swept them off the driveway and the sidewalks and shooed them out of my house when they inadvertently found their way inside.
This morning, I found this solitary seed in the center of my concrete patio with no hope of finding the soil it would need to sprout. It struck me the number of these seeds that never have the opportunity to reach their potential–how many have been swept up and discarded, eaten by chipmunks, or uprooted as weeds when they were seedlings. The odds against a maple seed creating another mature tree seem astronomical.
Every year, without fail, that Silver Maple creates thousands more helicopters and releases them—each one carrying the potential to become a giant.
SEED: KEEP DREAMING, NO MATTER THE ODDS
I found this little lamium sprig growing underneath a matted thicket of grass in the flower bed behind my garage. This flower bed is the space I transfer the plants I just don’t know what to do with. It’s filled with the off-shoots of plants that needed splitting and odds-and-ends that just don’t fit into the plan right now—a nursery, of sorts, for my next landscaping project.
Because there is no design for the space, I let it grow absolutely wild. And it has. It is overrun with dandelion, grass, Creeping Charlie and some weed that’s as tall as I am. Poking out from the weed-blanket are small clumps of almost every flower I have planted elsewhere in the yard, that is, any plant that is strong enough to rise above the weeds.
Imagine my surprise while hacking away at the weed-forest, at seeing this lamium still growing under the surface. It is something I’d completely forgotten. I don’t even know how it survived being buried so deeply, with so little sunlight.
There was a time when this lamium had a purpose. It was to be groundcover for a different section of the backyard. At the time, it was too small and frail to fill the space, so I decided to wait until it grew bigger to transplant it. I loved this little flower with its pretty pink blossoms and heart-shaped leaves and I envisioned it growing into a beautiful thick blanket around our maple trees. As time went by, I forgot about it with all my other distractions and the weeds took over. It’s been growing here patiently, waiting for some sun.
Now that I’ve rediscovered it, I can’t wait to find a place for this lamium. It’s time to give this little guy room to shine and to thrive—to support this little flower that managed to hang on just under the surface for so many years.
WEED: BURYING THE DREAM
SEED: TIME TO SHINE!
This is one of my beautiful daylilies. For every birthday, my parents give me one. We meet at the Solaris Lily Farm and walk through the rows upon rows of flowers, carefully picking the year’s new variety. This is one of my favorite things. It sets a sense of tradition—something that is just for my parents and me. I love knowing that this daytrip will happen year after year; that we’ve chosen this family ritual.
Each year the lily garden grows plant-by-plant. It’s become a timeline of memories for me, with each new lily marking a point in my personal history. When the lilies bloom, I like to spend time among them thinking about my parents and how much they mean to me and how much their beliefs and values have helped to shape me into the person I am today.
Before this year’s daytrip, I’ll go through the lily garden and also my beliefs. Some look great just as they are. Some are looking a little shabby and need some attention. Some are so overgrown, they need to be split. Some just don’t fit into my color scheme anymore. I will consider thoughtfully which are to stay, which I will relocate, and which I will let go. I will clear a space for this year’s addition.
WEED: STAGNANT BELIEFS
SEEDS TO PLANT: EXAMINE BELIEFS–AFFIRM THOSE THAT BENEFIT, CULL THOSE THAT NO LONGER BELONG & MAKE ROOM FOR THE NEW.