The Joy of Weeding

I love days like the day I had today in the garden.  The weather was not the sunniest but the temperature was quite mild.  The soil is still warm and has enjoyed being soaked through by a lots of recent rain.  There is so much to be done in the garden at the moment it is hard to know what to do first.  

As I often say, I let the garden tell me what it wants me to do and today, after some general faffing, the garden wanted me to get down to some weeding.  There is sheer joy in days like this.  I can see what is happening at ground level and let my mind relax.  The things that have been worrying me and stressing me get forced back to the nether regions of my brain as I am focussing on the task in hand.  It is a moment of mindfulness: I can see what I am doing, I am thinking about weeding and the garden.  The soil is damp: gritty and slightly sticky.  It pushes through my gloves and collects behind my fingernails as if I might want to reclaim it and use it later.  Whilst the soil  is not that cold it is cold to my touch.  The damp cold that means when I kneel on the grass I feel the damp soak through the knees of my trousers and it is not cold at first, but after a while I remember why gardening trousers tend to be weather resistant and why I need some.  

I can smell the scents around me.  The scent of dampness of the air, the faint smell of the few roses that are just about still in flower.   I can smell eau de slug, that particular damp smell that is not as unpleasant as it should be because there is a freshness to the air.  Even where I live that is so close to the ring road and the motorway, where I can hear rumbling of the traffic in the distance, the air still seems fresh.  I listen for a moment.  The wind must be in the direction away from the major roads as the traffic is not as loud as it sometimes can be.   I can hear a car every now and again vroom.  I wonder where the car is: how close? how far? hopefully not as unsafe as it sounds.  

I turn my attention back to weeding.  Of course not all plants that I am removing are weeds, some are just a little too plentiful or in the wrong place.
Yes you, forget me not, I do mean you.  I do love you, I want you in my garden, but some of you do have to be edited I am afraid.  
and you there teasels, you are too many.  I am sorry but you cannot all reach flowering though some of you will be replanted in other areas.  I would not have a garden that did not include teasels and whilst I believe that every seed germinates, they are easy to spot and remove.
I try not to even think about the forest of tree seedlings throughout the garden.  It turns out I cannot bonsai them all, though I do have several currently being trained (trained or tortured?  I am still not quite sure on this point).   At least I found this one whilst still quite small.  I have usually field maple, hawthorn and wild cherry seedlings in the back garden; plus a few birches and laburnums in the front.  Let me not forget the sycamore treelets as well: so many, oh so many.  I wonder how long it would take my garden to become a wood if I just let it be?  Not very long I am sure.
Some weeds are quite big when they get removed.  If I take the viewpoint that a weed is a plant in the wrong place: and generally I do, then this pheasant grass is definitely a weed.  It has wandered over to the Coal Bunker Border from the Prairie Borders and had become established before I realised it was not working where it had set itself.  So today up it came which has created a rather nice planting opportunity.  Part of the joy of weeding at this time of year is also dividing some perennials as I go.  Moving a bit of this from here to there, and rejuvenating the parent plant at the same time.
The real joy of weeding though is making the space for the other seedlings to come through and breathe.  These nigella seedlings are a sign of joy to come in the new year.  I did not have a good year for nigella this year, so I welcome the sight of these seedlings.  They are more than just seedlings, they are hope.

Stay safe and be kind.

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  1. You spent the day in the company of your numerous plant family.

  2. I enjoy mindful weeding. Finding treasured volunteers!


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