|Is this gardening?|
So I was out taking care of a big job: removing the entire “raised bed” of raspberry bushes. Please don’t ask why I had a raised bed of raspberry bushes; it was not a good thing. So that’s why I was removing it, re-potting as many of them as possible in the hope of finding them new homes either with friends or even elsewhere on my property.
I receive “Organic gardening” magazine in the mail. The pictured gardens, fruits, and plants, are all so perfect and lovely. Nothing like the intense chaos that I call a garden. The raspberry culling event happened to be right next to what is supposed to be my herb garden. Some different concepts are battling for supremacy in my herb garden, There are the many “volunteers” or plants that have decided to show up without necessarily checking in with me first. These include fabulous things like anise, echinacea, chives….It also includes weeds, which brings us to the second category: useful weeds like lambs quarter which I use to augment the spinach in spinach pie….and then the third category is baby raspberry bushes. These had made an escape from the “raised bed…”
As I work in the garden, I am aware of how much it connects not only to house-keeping, but to how one lives life. I keep my garden open to so many possibilities, that they sometimes smother each other out. Or don’t produce as they would if they had more space. Reminds me of both my attic and my life. I have a lot of trouble deciding that one plant (or a book or a dress) is good and another bad.
Naturally then, weeding is extremely challenging to me. Even huge dandelions seem worth keeping; I think to myself that I might want to photograph them soon for a possible painting idea. It is just like going up to my attic determined to find some stuff to throw away on trash day, and coming downstairs with a big box of “junk” that turns out to contain a potentially valuable Hess truck toy, a sheaf of writing and drawing from when my oldest son was fabricating paper cars, and some soccer trophies. It is not clear that these things can be thrown away, though in the cold light of the computer as I write about it, it seems like they should. At the moment of dragging them from the attic closer to the trash can, I am wondering if I should wait to ask my son if he wants any of it, and I know my husband would kill me if I threw away one of the Hess trucks….
But for some reason, I love to weed. I love the visual clarity of weeding everything out but one type of leaf in a given area, and of how often the weed in a given area seems to mimic the chosen inhabitant of that area. When I weed for hours in the SPring or summer, I sometimes see after images when I shut my eyes at night, huge black circles of dandelion leaves exploding in some canyon of my vision….And then the otehr day, I was done weed-wacking and staggered across my patio and happened to look up and found myself stunned by the dangling beauty of the wisteria. They reminded me somehow of galaxies….