Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Weeding -- In Other People's Gardens

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.


Annie said...

And those of us who have no idea what is a weed and what isn't love you for it! Thank you!

rachel said...

Yes! If it weren't for your weeding I never would have planted anything in my garden. Thank you! Not only am I grateful for the weeding and the garden tips but having such great gardening neighbors like you have given me the "bug" for gardening. I can't wait to start other projects!

Anna said...

It's also therapy. I especially like taking out weeds in the lawn - it's easier. I hate to clean the house because there's just too many decisions to make all the time - putting things into places where you don't have places for putting things. At least with weeds, there's the bin. Wait a minute - that's what my laundry pile looks like!

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