I am often asked why I weed in other people’s gardens—especially when I have so many gardens (and weeds) of my own. My answer is always, “Because I can.” I can weed. I can tell the difference between a dandelion and a coreopsis—a clover and a geranium—a violet and a brunnera. I can’t knit or crochet. I HATE cleaning, and while I love to cook, I prefer to spend as much time as possible outside during the months when green things are growing. So, I weed.
I don’t mind weeding. It’s satisfying work that shows immediate results. After a day in an office where you may not be able to tell that you’ve made a difference or accomplished anything, weeding is just the thing! You end up with a big pile of weeds and a lovely looking garden! It doesn’t get much better than that!
It makes people happy to have their gardens weeded. Sometimes, the people I weed for want to weed with me – they want to learn what should stay and what should go. I start by giving them a particular weed to pull (see selective weeding) and then add a weed or two through the season. Typically, after a season, they don’t need me anymore. (Every once in a while, I go back at the beginning of the next season as a backup.) Sometimes, the people know what the weeds are, but illness, pregnancy, or an extended vacation may prevent them from getting out in the garden. In these cases, I just go to work and get rid of the weeds.
It’s early August now, which means the growing season for crops has another six to eight weeks. (Our first frost date here is about the 15th of September.) But hardy plants can go another twelve. Plenty of time to be outside and weed.