How Does Your Garden Grow?

With pretty weeds all in a row?  Picture number (what?) of my bucket of random plants over which I exercise no control.  I promise this will be the last one.  But look how interesting it’s all become!  Weeds bloom!

Blooming weeds close up.

Blooming weeds not so close up.

Okay, THAT is the last one, I swear.   To me it’s breathtaking, all things considered, covered in raindrops and growing tall.  Also my bush in the background is now covered in strange little yellow flowers which make it look slightly less bush-ugly.

And at last the tiger lilies have started to bloom.  Finally, something beautiful that I actually meant to have growing in my backyard.












The rain has been falling continuously since the storm and it’s still overcast and drizzling this morning.  Temperatures inside and out are back to something much closer to normal.  So now we can all stop complaining about the heat and start moaning about the rain instead.

How To Grow Weeds In Your Own Back Yard

I am delighted to report that my defunct fire-pit/barrel-planter landscaping project is flourishing despite an almost complete lack of enthusiasm, personal interest, concern or care on my part, except for the odd brief confused and frowning contemplation of it, and subsequent picture snapping.  Because it’s pretty hard to describe this in mere words.

I catch a glimpse of it from my kitchen window and think, shit, I should do something about that.  But then I can’t think what, except maybe to destroy it, and really, it’s not hurting anybody, is it?

If anyone would like any pointers on growing unidentifiable (to me) green things in big pots by accident, I am definitely your go-to person.

While you’re thinking about that and wondering which one of us needs the most help, here’s some advice on pillow shopping.  If the plastic bag says “extra firm” you should take that seriously.  The two new replacement pillows for my bed which I brought home yesterday were hard to force into cases, there was so little give to  them. They took on the appearance of over inflated balloons with not a wrinkle to be seen.  No punching was required to get myself propped up in a comfortable position to read, but it was also kind of like placing my head on a slightly squishy rock.  This morning I wondered for a bit if my neck might be broken.  But it was just at some weird angle it’s not used to dealing with and seems to be straightening out as the morning progresses.

It’s been a long time since I’ve said anything about my beautiful, intelligent, astonishingly amazing grandchildren.  Here’s four of them and one large dog. They’re growing like weeds in their own backyard.   
Don’t think because I put them here that they’re less important to me than actual weeds. Sometimes it’s just fun to save the best thing for last.

God Loves Chickweed

The reason I know this is because He grows it everywhere.  What I don’t know is who gets to decide what is a weed and what isn’t.  We’re conditioned from childhood to abhor dandelions on the lawn, and to love roses in the flowerbed.  But what child, left to his own devices, would not prefer those bright little low-to-the-ground yellow flowers that are everywhere and can be picked with ease, to something that has vicious thorns?

When my sister was last here to visit me we spent time and money putting a gigantic flower-pot where the fire pit used to be, and filling it with lovely little plants.  It looked quite beautiful and very promising, until the rains came down – day after day after day.  At first I thought this was a great thing, because I never remember to water anything.  But it turns out the pot had no drainage holes in the bottom, and the little plants were drowning in the mud.  I couldn’t save them.  If she reads this she will want to shake me.  This spring W tipped the pot up (that sucker is HEAVY) and drilled some holes in the bottom so that we wouldn’t have the same problem again.

The next logical step would have been for me to get some plants and put them in there, but logical steps are not my forte.  It’s in the backyard, so who sees it but me?  Nobody, except now that I’m posting a picture of it here there could be a couple other people rolling their eyes at it.  But there’s all these green things in it growing away, voluntarily, with no input from me whatsoever.  Definitely my kind of gardening.   I was going to pull them all out, because that’s what a normal person would do with weeds, but then I thought – who do I think I am – some kind of all powerful plant Queen who gets to decide what grows where?  Plus my hands would get dirty and then there’d be just this big pot of dirt sitting there waiting for me to get my butt to a green house and that just might never happen.  So I’ve decided to leave them alone and see what happens.  Perhaps I’ll grow to love them.  They appear to be safely contained and unlikely to spread, so what harm can come of it?  Except maybe for the lawn people having a less than ideal opinion of my horticultural prowess.  And speaking of lawn, that little patch in the top left corner is where the meter moving guys dug a huge hole, filled it up and put down sod.  It’s starting to look a little less dead these days, also without any effort on my part.

This one is looking pretty interesting too, guarded by a sun bleached lamb not found in nature.

All of this should give you a huge clue as to why we decided to give up our garden plot and grow grass there instead.  Before the neighbors came over and torched it in the middle of the night.

Just think of all the money we could save, and what glorious things we could do with all the time we save by giving up the heartless practice of weeding.  All the green houses we could collectively put out of business, if this catches on.

I don’t know if I should be trying to get away with this right under the noses of the Alberta Invasive Plants Council but it’s not like I’m growing that other kind of WEED and selling it on the street.  This is purely for my own amusement.  And because I’m the laziest gardener on the face of God’s green earth.

From This Moment

Well there’s a Shania Twain moaning whiner of a song that makes me shudder.  And has nothing whatsoever to do with this post, which is about this moment in time.  Which is why it will be categorized in the “Just Now” file.  Orphan Which clauses undo me.

But back to the moment.  The flower bed in front of our house has seven (count ’em – SEVEN) brand new BUSHES planted in a lovely row across the west three-quarters of our house.  Two of them are gooseberry I think.  One of them is already flowering, and the others I think are supposed to flower eventually, but if they don’t and decide to simply remain GREEN that will be completely acceptably pleasantly satisfactory for this budding shrub grower.  I just picked up random partial sun/shade growers from the perennial shrub and tree area, not even considering the fact that the stupid front lawn tree is gone until I got home.  There went a large part of the shade.  There is still the crazy overhang of the roof though, and the fact that the flower bed faces NORTH and gets only the morning sun.  When there actually IS morning sun.  GAWD this capitalization of random words needs to STOP.  I remember a couple of the little plastic information sticks said to expect growth to no more than five feet (although I don’t know if I looked for that on all of them, come to think of it) so hopefully nothing gets tall enough to block the view from the bedroom windows or knock off the roof overhang.  No worries, I’m very good at trimming.  Mostly because I’m never sure something is actually a weed until it gets big enough to be recognizable from the street and somebody tells me.

There are also three partially grown tomato plants in the back bed with brand new bright yellow cages (because either I threw out all the old broken metal ones or W did or he hid them somewhere obscure because I can’t find them) and one of them already has tiny little green tomatoes on it.  The plant of course, not the cage.  Although even if there are never any more tomatoes of any significance the cages are pretty awesome.  Adding a splash of brilliant color to the back yard.  They should match the yellow flowers on the bush that’s already flourishing back there.  What a relief when it finally turned green again for another season.  So this is how I garden.  Purchasing at exorbitant prices things that are already very strongly established and unlikely to croak while resigning themselves to my care.   The plants I love the most are the ones that adapt to me, being mature and hardy enough to continue to live in spite of whatever strange things I choose to do to them.  Ignoring them completely being very high on the list of possibilities.

I no sooner had my grand landscaping adventure completed when suddenly a gigantic Salisbury truck and trailer pulled up beside the next door neighbours front lawn and proceeded to rip up all their grass.  Damn.  Keeping up with the Joneses.  Impossible.  I’ve been watching the progress (or lack thereof) (they seem to have a lot of guys hanging around taking breaks) and there’s no sod down yet because they’re putting in some kind of bordered rock bed all around the house and now it looks like some kind of artistic horticultural rock infested thingey which is going to make my tree stump directly across from it look rather unimpressive in comparison. Sigh.  I can’t begin to imagine what all that must be costing them.   And how sad it’s going to make our front yard look when they’re done.

My sister Ann is coming for a visit, thus my sudden gardening sense of urgency.  Normally I would not think of doing any of this until well into the summer when it’s really too late to bother.  But her yard could be featured in a horticultural magazine, as could my brothers, and he and my sister-in-law are going to be here too, at least overnight, although I can’t count on the visit being entirely in the dark.  So I had to do something to save myself from being the subject of their pity and eye rolling and head shaking conversation about my rather serious botanic impairment for at least half their trip back home.  That could happen anyway, but on the bright side,  at least I will not have struck them dumb.  I hope.

Yesterday I bought a little wooden-like outdoor side table.  Not exactly a patio set, but it’s a pathetic start.  It’s made of all recyclable materials and absolutely  looks like natural wood but without the care required.  Big points from me for that.  Our Adirondack chairs are in a very sad state and probably no longer usable except maybe for firewood, so I was just going to bring out some canvas lawn chairs with the drink holder things in the arms (kudos to the brilliant inventor of those things) but I can find only two of them!  The rest must be at camp.  Honestly, for the garage being stuffed full of stuff it’s kind of amazing that there is nothing truly useful in there.

And speaking of firewood….which we weren’t really, but suddenly we are now because I just remembered something…..we no longer have a fire pit in the back yard because W. gave away the cement blocks and now there is just a little raised circle in the concrete filled with dirt and soot and possibly ants for all I know.  What the hell am I supposed to do with that?  Are there plants that thrive in soot?  It so sucks being agronomically challenged.  With a spouse like W. who thinks a pile of chopped wood is a perfectly acceptable back yard lawn decoration.

Ah well.  Better not get started on W. or we’ll be here all day.  He is down east again, probably for most of the summer, fishing his little brains out while I hold down the fort here in the burbs.  Trying to remember to water things.  And fertilize!  Crap!  I forgot to use those tomato spikes!  If I don’t do that RIGHT NOW I will no doubt discover the unopened package in the garage sometime after labor day.  Plus venturing outside will give me a chance to check out the progress next door.  And I have a little side table to put together and a soot filled hole to consider.  This is day four of my ‘time off from work’ which I refuse to call vacation or holiday, since it’s so far been rife with plant management related vexations.  Such a hard life I’m living.  Trying to stay focused on tomato spikes while I wrap up this fleeting moment in time.   Agriculture calls.  You probably do not want to hear my less than poetic answer.