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E-Garden Almanac: Weeding is Therapy

E-Garden Almanac

The E-Garden Almanac is the push-button, real human journal of Kelly D. Norris. All errors, grammatic grievances, and opinions are that of the author. Kelly is a freelance writer and Master Gardener from southwest Iowa. His passion and obsession with horticulture, plants, and gardening embodies nearly every function of his life. The E-Garden Almanac serves as the web extension of his columns, articles, and lectures.
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Friday, May 29, 2009

Weeding is Therapy

Despite the grudge I hold against vicious weeds like dandelions and white clover, I don't mind the occasional therapy borne of happily plucking off their tops and tossing them to the wind.

Mind you it's a chore and often one I don't have time for in the first place. But the older I've gotten, the more I've come to respect the wisdom of weeding as a sort of humble activity that thoughtful minds take up as an occupation of time. When I weed, I think. I think about the plants that surround me, like the spiderworts which have happily colonized a corner of the rock garden. As I untangle chickweed from my pink-flowering prickly pear (Opuntia polyacantha), I dream of what its blossoms will look like in maiden glory in my garden in just a few weeks. As I move on down the limestone wall near a raucous mound of catchflies (Silene), I think beyond the summer through the fall and into next spring, planning for a garden I don't even know yet. Gardens (weeds and all) are immutable life forms, growing and blooming with a rhythm of the season. The perception of that rhythm qualifies any of us to tend earthly space.

So despite the bucket of fluffy dandelions seed heads and three- and four-parted clover leaves sitting in the yard, my time spent weeding equates to much needed mental therapy, that escape that only happens amid flowers and bees. And when I need a little thinking time again, I'm sure a few weeds will be waiting for me.


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