Today is overcast and muggy. The soaring heat seems to have passed, for now anyways. With a week’s worth of heat behind us, my plants have limped along but the weeds have flourished. So … water in hand, me and old dog ventured out to the yard earlier today to pull weeds. I pulled a few and sprayed a lot,
watered my pots and spilled a little water for the frogs hanging around. The birds swooped in and out of the sprinkler, enjoying a brief respite.
But .. here’s the thing with weeding: I despise it; there’s nothing about it I enjoy, however, it’s necessary so my strategy is to get out early, ahead of the heat and after a rain if possible.
Hours upon hours of my youth were wasted … weeding. Mom had a garden the size of a city block, or so it seemed, with rows and rows of corn, peas, carrots, beets and green and yellow beans. Then there were the onions, cucumbers and radishes. She always had at least one row of gladiolas followed by cabbage. Along the garden’s edge were strawberries, muskmelon and watermelon. And all along the far western corner grew raspberries, wild and prickly with thorns ready to tear your skin. My mother’s garden fostered our love of vegetables and fruits, of that I’m sure.
Managing this garden required hours of sweat. Hours that I’d much rather have been off riding my horse, bike, or exploring the coulees around the farm.
So .. my sisters and I would don our bathing suits, slather on suntan oil and head off to the garden with mason jars of water for an afternoon of weeding.
It was hot.
It was dusty.
It was boring.
And it was back-breaking.
Usually my brothers were busy helping Dad with other farm chores but, on occasion, they’d tag along too. One brother improvised and thought to bring along a battery-operated radio. Great fun until he tired of it and started chucking dirt lumps at us girls. Sweaty suntan lotioned girls + dirt? Not the happiest combo. He stirred up enough of a disturbance to get himself banished … which was just what he wanted in the first place.
And there we’d be, 3 girls and Mom, all of us sweaty, hot and crabby.
If we didn’t complain too much, Mom would reward us with a trip to the lake for a late-afternoon “dip” and maybe an ice cream cone. We learned not to complain and instead became efficient weeders.
To this day, both of my sisters have spectacular gardens, bountiful flowers and perennial beds that seem to go on forever.
Me? Nope. Still hate weeding.
I do love the farmer’s market, however .