Garden of Weedin

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,

The Swamp Dewberry; nice name for a weed!

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.

image from

I do love the farmer’s market, however :).


Categories: Determination, Family, Friendship, Growth, Home, Life, Personal, Rants, Seasons, Share, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Work | Tags: , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Garden of Weedin

  1. Great Memories!

  2. I feel your pain MJ.

    And you taught me a new word – coulee. Great!

    • and now I have sore knees to echo the “feel the pain” comment, Renee!! Glad to have shared a new word .. it’s instinctive, just what we say where I’m from.

      The coolest thing? Down in the coulee there are the original wagon trail tracks in the prairie as well as authentic Indian relics/graves. We have never disturbed them. It’s one of my most favourite places on earth .. the wind is ever present but so are the birds and wildlife. Ahhh .. heaven.

      Cheers! MJ

  3. Love the ending photo!!
    I, too, hate to pull weeds, but that’s definitely on my agenda for the coming week. I’m just hoping our temps will drop a little – we’ve had highs around 100 for several days. I will definitely be out VERY early in the morning to tackle those weeds!

  4. I once grew veggies in our backyard in a small garden. I even built a raised box-bed about 10X5 feet and grew veggies in that as well (our soil is mostly sand, so a raised bed with enriched soil helped). But that was many years ago before kids. I also had hanging plants and flowers all along our back porch. Now the only thing I can grow and nurture is children. As soon as I had kids all my plants died from neglect. Oh well. I too love the farmer’s market.

    • I always think I want a garden till I remember all the work involved … for me, that much work doesn’t = a hobby!! MJ

  5. Yep, I had to help rake pine straw for my grandmother’s strawberry plants and whatever other garden chores needed doing. To be fair, she did the lions’s share of the work. But I and my siblings spent many a summer hour shelling peas, butter beans, and otherwise being used as child labor! Not that we complained when we were eating!

    Didn’t make my thumb green though! And I agree, farmer’s markets are the best!

    Happy summer!


    • Yes .. many a summer’s evening was spent shelling peas … tasty but wow so much work!! Love the farmer’s market 🙂 MJ

  6. You have a way with words. My mother-in-law always sent us home with grocery bags of squash, lettuce, cabbage, green beans and strawberries. When I “retired”, Rick got me a tiller…sadly, it hasn’t tilled anything yet. Thank you for the inspiration. I’m in awe of the size of your mother’s garden…that was a lot of work.

    • I have been told that (( a way with words .. although, when told by older siblings, I don’t think it was meant as a compliment – ha! )) I love all the fresh produce but I am just as happy at the Farm Market.. and not out weeding one 🙂 Cheers! MJ

  7. I grew up in the city, but our yard was big enough to contain a garden that was much too big for my liking too. My dad made us weed it and pick beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. I hated the bugs and the fact that the work was boring and seemed fruitless.

    I did not inherit my dad’s green thumb. I’m with you. The farmer’s market is where it’s at!

    • Yep – we are in sync yet again, Terri! The work certainly had its rewards (all that great produce) but it seemed endless and yes it was sooooooooooo boring. Cheers! MJ

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