My grandfather, a farmer, used to tell my mother that a weed is a rosebush in the rows of potatoes–in other words, a plant, any plant, is a weed when it is not wanted.
We have a lot of weeds in our zoysia grass lawn. The variety of weeds includes a large amount of clover, violets and dandelions, among others whose names I don’t know. Some weeds are easier to extract than others, and I’m really glad not to have to deal with spiky, prickly weeds.
Garrett and I have been doing yard work in anticipation of a coming week of heavy rain, and I began weeding out of sheer annoyance at a particular weed, a long-limbed offender that had avoided the lawnmower by being slick and insinuating, weaving insidiously among and just barely on the surface of the zoysia. Once I started weeding, I got carried away…
Weeding appeals to my fastidiousness. It is essentially nitpicking, a meticulous activity that has clear boundaries (weed, or not-a-weed) and makes a difference on a large scale. Also, the labor is easy—I mean, it didn’t break my back to scoot around on my knees plucking weeds. In fact, I felt better after I had done it. I had a terrible headache when I began, making everything I did unpleasant–especially if it required much motion, noise or concentration. Weeding was so menial and repetitive that it relaxed me and helped diminish my headache in a way meditation hadn’t been able to do (although my meditation had been interrupted, repeatedly, by both Nenive and Garrett).
The biggest difficulty of weeding was just finding time to do it. I spent about an hour focusing on an area approximately ten square feet in our side yard. Below is a before-and-after photo of the same spot. I might not have lined the frame up perfectly for the after image–kind of hard to find a reference point in the carpet of grass, especially once the big weeds were removed–but it is the same area and does accurately reflect the lawn’s weediness followed by pristine glory after my efforts the other evening.
Garrett was using a fishy fertilizer as he watered plants and ended up using it right next to where I was weeding, and that put the biggest damper on my gung-ho weeding antics. Still, I got a portion almost entirely weed free.
Above, see my display of a typical weed, followed by photos of my pile of pulled weeds. I took a picture for reference of Garrett holding the mound before tossing it on the massive pile of leaves and branches we and our neighbor have collected between our yards.