When I get home each evening I am generally asked what I have been up to all day. For the past few weeks I have said the same thing “weeding”. Of course I have done other things too, but the main stay of my work at present is ousting the unwelcome. This is not a complaint. It is optimum weed time and they must be kept on top of to avoid chest beating and heartbroken wailing. Warm and wet; the perfect germination conditions for many of annuals, ideal growing environment for our perennials. It should not, therefore, come as a surprise that much of our working day is spent trying to remove the sneaky blighters that nestle in the skirts of our border plants, or tugging out every last strand of gleaming white Enchanters Nightshade root. Actually I quite enjoy it, most of the time anyway, unless barbs or stings are involved. Whilst footling about in the soil I have been doing a lot of thinking. Was it about the current economic situation, perhaps the Olympic doping dilemma, or even pondering on the likelihood that Girls Aloud will reform? No, I have been considering the subtle nuances of this under-rated skill. Before charging headlong to your borders, fork or hoe in hand, there are a few things to consider. It is important to know the difference between an interloper’s seedling and a fledgling verbena. Decisions have to be made whether we really need another foxglove in this position. Deep rooted persistents have to be extracted without damaging your prize specimens. Checks must be made beneath, behind and through. Most importantly, you must gracefully accept that by the same time next week, these tenacious customers will have returned.
When I got home this evening I was asked what I had been up to. “Weeding” I said, “and for a bit of variety I did a little planting”. Salvia “Love and Wishes”, Geum “Tequila Sunrise” and the above Rudbeckia “Summerina Orange”. It is true, it is the spice of life.