It’s funny to write that headline, “Honey, I’m Home,” because I’ve never really gone away. There have been a few trips — all crammed into a short span of time — but for the most part, I’ve been home.
When it comes to my lawn, I’m pretty much a live and let live kind of guy. If it’s green, it stays — and for decades my policy has worked.
I haven’t had to use poisons. Insects and wildlife seem to appreciate the blend of greens and flowering weeds. Most importantly, it’s the one aspect of gardening and home ownership that has remained stress-free.
I refuse to be a suburban slave to my lawn — at least that’s what I said until dollarweed entered my life.
When it comes to my lawn, I’m pretty basic, following one important rule. Be green. I’m not too fussy about what’s actually growing — but as long as it’s green, it has a place in the lawn.
When I see that in writing, it sounds as if I’m a bit of a colorist, embracing one color over all others. In actuality, though, the green weeds are welcome to bloom in any color they like. I just find that my color requirement for admittance into the lawn is one way to keep me from having to resort to herbicides and liquid fertilizers. I have no intention of having my little piece of suburbia become one of the stops on a national golf tournament.
In honor of the holiday weekend, here is a post that first appeared one year ago. The photos still haunt me. I recently returned to the nursery-that-was, and not much has changed. Yes, the weeds have been mown and the random pots removed, but the structures remain (albeit a little more dilapidated). There are also a couple of flatbed trailers parked on the lot, but the abandoned nursery remains, a testament to the loss of small, local, neighborhood nurseries and small businesses that can’t keep up with the onslaught of retail and box store chains, rising rents, and a lifeless economy.
On this Labor Day, please visit a local nursery — and if you would like to open your own, I know a place that’s available.
It’s Labor Day weekend – a time tailor-made for beaches, barbecues, parades, and speeches. But on this particular holiday, I’m staring at the remains of a small, neighborhood garden center on Long Island.
I’m not sure exactly what happened here. Did the owner retire, unable to sell the business? Did some sort of illness interfere? Was the small nursery unable to compete against the box stores that sprout like weeds? Or perhaps, this nursery is just another victim of an economy that has failed to thrive?
It’s amazing how quickly the weeds and wildflowers have turned this once manicured plot into an overgrown prairie. Slowly, however, it gives up its secrets.
I love a good weed. It’s when I feel that I am most in my head, when I do my best thinking, when my imagination wanders up and down and sideways.
That’s the way it was this weekend when I knelt down to begin weeding the bed that’s wedged between a blue stone patio and a row of white pines growing in a bed of ivy behind a low stone wall. In truth, I began working on this bed weeks ago, when I cleaned it, weeded it, and planted the Gomphrena “Strawberry Fields” that I had started from seed.
And that’s where the work ended. Now all I see is the Gomphrena swallowed up by a new flush of weeds because I never had the chance or the time to place mulch. It’s uncanny how the driest stretch of my yard, heated by the surrounding stonework, is the perfect home for weeds.
As I pulled and yanked, my green world became black and white and I imagined myself in a 1940s film noir flick. In it, I’m in a chair, a beam of light aimed at me and throwing the far corners of the room into shadows. There’s a detective hovering above me, hair slicked back, hands on his waste so I can see his gun holstered under his jacket.
Weeding. It’s one of those necessary chores of gardening, and generally, there are two approaches. The first is, pull ‘em as you see ‘em. I try to take this sensible approach as often as I can. More than likely, though, I usually find myself in a weed-a-thon, removing a tangled jungle of inconsiderate weeds that continued to grow and spread despite my not having enough time to choose option one.
That’s how it is right now with this blog. I’ve let several things build up and now it’s time to weed.
First, I owe Beyond Confessions an apology. Weeks ago – yes, weeks – Beyond Confessions nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award. Although it is definitely an honor to be nominated, I feel kind of strange accepting it because I’ve received this award twice before.
When she informed me of her nomination, I posted a reply saying thank you – and that maybe she should nominate someone else under the circumstances. I mean, let’s share the wealth a bit. Besides, I really don’t know if I can handle the requirements of the award. I’m all out of random facts about myself – or at least the random facts I feel comfortable telling you all about.
As soon as I clicked send, however, the guilt struck me like a clump o’ mud – and it has been weighing on me, quite heavily. No matter my logic for declining the award, the truth is Beyond Confessions should be thanked and her blog should be recognized. Not only did she take the time to nominate me and 14 other sites, she also completed the award’s requirements while documenting her life as a new mom on her blog.
So, here’s my compromise. I have thanked Beyond Confessions. I will not reveal any more random facts about me. But I will nominate blogs that I have recently discovered — because they deserve to be recognized.
- Daylily Soup – Beth is an Alabama-based gardener who fills her site with amazing words and amazing photos, all of which document her passion.
- Sods Law – Amy is a photographer first , and now she has a garden. A match made in heaven.
- Vickie Szumigala Photo Blog — Vickie is a self-taught photographer who is looking to share tips on making this craft affordable and easy.
- The Word Hoarder — Rich is an Irish ex-pat now living, gardening, raising a family, and writing in North Carolina. Join him on his journey.
- The Soulsby Farm — I am always impressed with the diversity of people’s lives out there. Here Dan not only shares his family , but also the work he does on his small farm. Fascinating stuff.
- This Modern Wife — Alanna shares much of her life as she seeks to redefine what it means to be a wife in the 21st century.
- Skeptical Gardener — A new homeowner and the responsibility of landscaping and tending to a garden.
My second bit of weeding has to do with so many of the comments I received during March – also known as St. Patrick’s Month. Many of you requested a photo of me in full parade regalia. I don’t show this sort of stuff to just anyone. . . but. . . here it goes:
This is me parading in a local parade on Long Island. My friend Cathey captured me in mid-blow, jowls full of air. Bagpiping may not always be pretty, but I do love the accessories.