For the first time today I recognized, deep down, what restaurant cooks mean when they say they’re “in the weeds” or “weeded.” I mean, I’ve known for years that it means being so behind on your orders that it feels as if you’ll never get through service alive, let alone getting the right orders to the right customers.
But today, as my back ached and sweat bedewed my bosom, I realized that I’m in the weeds for the rest of my life, or as long as I live in this house. The garden’s too big, laid out in my optimistic thirties, and my tolerance for slaving in the heat has become too small. My weeds are thugs, maybe because of all those years of solemn soil amendment — Man, are they happy!
Many gardeners go on about the meditative aspects of weeding and it’s health-giving properties — all that “light” exercise. Har. I should be as enlightened as St. Teresa of Avila and as supple as Selma Hyack. I’m not.
But today I admitted: I’m going to be in the weeds forever, even if I spend two solid hours a day pulling and whacking from March until November. The weeds will always win.
But…. the garden’s looking better. Here are a few photos (heavily cropped to hide some of the weeds.)
The lovely spicy- scented rosa Therese Bugnet:
The Henry Hudson rose from the Canadian Explorer series:
And my spanking new leather-palmed and fingered gardening gloves, on a bed of geranium sanguineum:
It’s allowed me to forgive myself, this realization that I’m never going to win, no matter how hard I work. I mean, I’m not going to slough off; I’ll be sweating and groaning tomorrow on a muggy Midwestern day in the 90s. But now I’ll forgive myself for knowing my weeds and flowers will never get a six page spread in Martha Stewart Living.