Sunday, October 5, 2008

From the chair

From Carol Eichler, chair:

Here are some thoughts for a gray day.

As I was weeding my driveway this summer, more than once the thought came to me that I might be at best a little fanatical, at worst – do I dare think that I could be – crazy? Well, it seemed like I had a good reason – the weeds from the driveway spoiled the effect of my tended areas that met at the driveway’s edge. All I could notice were those nasty, uninvited dandelions, knotweed, purslane, spurge, plantain and more. My eventual solution? I decided to top sow white clover along the edges, which is not nearly so offensive to my sensitive eye and I fully expect it to be a solution I will live to regret. Anyway, it did raise a question: When do I stop weeding?

Living in the country as I do, my gardens are defined more by own limitations, rather than by property boundaries. In fact, much of my maintenance efforts seem to be aimed at trying to keep the wildness of forest and field from infringing. Every spring when everything seems to need attention at once, I say to myself, “This is too much, something has to give.” When do I stop developing new plantings?

Then there is the maintenance issue – mulching, edging, weeding, then edging again. At some point in my day what I consider “that which I do for fun” becomes tough-it-out work, as I drive myself to come to some closure at day’s end. The heat, the bugs, the dirt (I am not a neat gardener) all start to get to me. When do I call it a day?

The fall is another time when the garden places its extreme demands. I’m torn between enjoying the last of the lush growth and straggling blooms with tackling garden clean-up before cold temps make the task miserable. When do I put away the tools and call it a season?

When does a gardener say when?

See you at the October meeting!


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