Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gardening in a Different Land

I am no gardener. Given good dirt, I can grow things. But I don't fuss, add bone meal, fish oil, adjust the pH or whatever real gardeners do. If it grows with a bit of neglect, that's always worked for me. Benign neglect, I think it's called. So, we clean out the backyard, with many glances at the very well manicured, lovely British garden next door, buy some flowers, put them in the ground, add water (easily done), and sun (not so easily done), and see what happens.

Apparently, here benign neglect gets you lots of trouble. Neglect the midgie threat at your own peril. Eight bites on my face that erupted with great gusto. I looked like I had chicken pox. Probably in the 18th century I'd have been thrown overboard for the pox. Crusted, oozing things. In the healing process they resembled acne scars. On a 54-year-old wrinkly face. Not a good look. I think I frightened the mail lady and I know our neighbor next door was wondering how close she should get to me. Avon Skin So Soft and hydrocortisone cream are now staples in my garden kit.

There were some interesting plants, some vaguely familiar, some completely new to my brain cells. So, let's let them grow and see what happens!! Last weekend several of my more happy flowers were suddenly lasso'd and dragged to the ground by one of the let's see what happens plants. Goose grass, as near as I can tell. Sticky thing that trails in and around, sticks to stems and drags things to the ground, apparently trying to suffocate them. Then there's the lovely pink-stemmed plant that grows on the mossy wall, quite dainty and lovely, until I discovered it ranging all over the back yard where I hang laundry and venturing into places it had no business growing. When did these things happen? The only saving grace for the last one, which I think is some kind of weedy geranium, is that the bullfinch likes something in it, so a wee bit of it is left on the garden wall. Another plant that benefitted from my daft gardening ideas was a nettle. We've a lovely 3 x 4 foot stinging nettle bush out there just daring us to try to remove it.

There are, however, the volunteer foxgloves and all variety of flowers that have popped up. Some of them weeds, no doubt. But one girl's weed is another luntatic's flower.

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