After I wrote my last post about weeding, I realized that I created a somewhat menacing outlook.  That steamy morning of weeding must have really affected me, because I usually have a very laid back and relaxed attitude about weeds.  I had to laugh when I reread about liking to weed when they are at least an inch high.  Yeah, right.  Maybe in the veggie garden, where I am definitely more on top of weeding, but in my perennial and shrub beds?  Let’s just say the weeds achieve a somewhat more mature size, say 6” to a foot, before I feel really compelled to get to them.  I find it kind of satisfying to let a bed get out of hand before I tackle it.  It’s like the feeling you get from cleaning a really dirty bathroom.  It just looks so much better after the clean-up, it almost highlights the beauty of your garden more if you let it get overgrown and messy and then attack it.

I guess you could say that weeding has been on my mind lately.  The flurry of May planting is over, the summer veggies are in but have not started producing yet, most of the annual flowers are also in.  I have a few leftover plants that I need to find spots for, but of course, any open areas in my garden are covered in weeds right now.  So before I can plant anything, I have to clear the soil.  It’s a good practice to try to fill all available space with plants you want, as a way of controlling the weed problem.  My established perennial beds get very few weeds, because the perennials cover all the bare soil.  The weeds really do just colonize bare soil, which is why everyone tells you to mulch if you want a carefree, neat garden.  I’ll mulch some areas, but mulch does interfere with the self-sowers, and it’s a lot of work to lay down the mulch.  I mostly do the beds in front of my house, and hard to reach areas.

A friend of mine does these amazingly detailed and beautiful pen and ink drawings, which she calls “knitting”.  Weeding is like knitting for me.  I’ve been doing it long enough that it doesn’t require a lot of my attention, so I can just sit and gather wool, and listen to the birds.  Recently my husband observed me “weeding”, sitting on my little stool gazing about, and suggested I read his meditation book.  I suppose that is what I am doing, but it is an outward directed meditation and not an inward directed one.  In those moments, the most pure in my gardening, I am just being in the garden.  Weeding is a great way for you to literally get, or be, in touch with your plants.  And, after all, isn’t that why you garden?  To have beautiful plants and flowers to look at whenever you want? To create a beautiful and comfortable place to spend time outdoors, in the nature?  Weeds never become a total disaster if you spend a lot of time in your garden, because you will catch anything before it gets truly out of hand.  And the definition of “out of hand” is your own.  No matter how messy it gets, it is still glorious to be outdoors.