The Art and Business of Weeding

Gardening, for me, is a zen experience. All else fades away.  The mind clears and the slate is clean; no brain chatter at all.  A crystalline moment or two have been known to occur.  Pulling weeds can be especially therapeutic.  Several years ago, I resolved to get  rid of  all the weeds in my garden. Many seasons later, I’ve learned a lot about both botany, and my personal ‘weeds’.

That first season was rough. Perennials, wildflowers, weeds, oh my!  Those with thorns-OUT!  Vines that strangled the life out of the other plants-GONE! Their roots were not especially deep, so it was easy to do.  Not  so simple was figuring out how many of the ‘keeper’ plants were entwined and choked by those vines. It took time and some delicate investigation to determine their origin.

" Keepers" Other weeds were disguised, some of them brilliantly so. They looked like the kind you’d  want to keep; healthy and strong with a decent-looking flower, pod or seed. But they’d  pop up out of nowhere and proceed to proliferate, edge out the perennials,  and shadow the annuals like a botanical bully. I swear I could hear them scream  to their competition, ” This is MY space now!”  Maybe I was just dehydrated and hearing things….?

What I really didn’t want to do was accidentally yank out a perennial.  They spring forth every year; so dependable and always beautiful.  Barring some sort of fungus or disease, they’re always there. Just to be…beautiful. We both suffered when I forgot to feed and water them regularly.

As I yanked and dug and composted,  it became clear to me that my  life had  also become a whole lot less messy and a whole lot more wonderful. I’d  slowly and methodically culled the ‘weeds’ in the garden of my life. And most importantly, learned a few things about how to not become the type of plant that a fellow gardener would want to pull.

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