Tuesday 6 July 2010

Musings on Weeds

Gardening with children means that you have to accept delay. You will not always get into the garden when you want to and when you do, you will not always achieve eveything you had planned to. Last week was an example of this. After a good start at the weekend our attempts to restore the vegetable patch to some levels of productivity were interrupted by a very busy week. On top of all our Little Garden Helpers usual activities we had school and playgroup meetings for new starts in September, a follow up x-ray for me at the hospital and a glut of visitors coming to meet Garden Lass for the first time, their visits having been delayed due to my pneumonia. All this meant that, despite the sunshine, we spent very little time working in the garden. So when I eventually came to thin out the carrots and leeks on Monday morning, only a week after I weeded the entire raised bed, I was of course greeted by a large number of very healthy looking replacement weeds. And so, tonight you find me musing on the biggest garden pest, the weed. 
  • Weeds are never invited, but never leave.
  • For every weed you pull out of the ground there are at least two more waiting just below the surface of the soil to pop out and laugh at you.
  • No matter how carefully you look there are always some weeds that manage not to be seen. I am convinced they have chamelean qualities and can blend into the soil when they see a garden hoe.
  • Weeds can be starved of everything they need to grow and yet will still grow. This suggests they have befriended Garden Goblins who take great delight in giving weeds the water, sunshine and nutrients we are trying to deny them.
  • Weeds run around the garden at night scattering their seeds everywhere so they will grow over the whole garden (although Garden Boy may have a hand in this).
  • Weeds that have been pulled out of the soil can jump out of buckets and reroot (possibly Garden Boy again).
  • Weeds can repel children so they will not pull them up, but will whisper to children that the well tended plant you are so proud of is ready for picking (and yes, Garden Boy seems particularly susceptible to the whispering weeds).
  • Weeds know when you are busiest and grow even more vigorously when they know you don't have time to remove them.
  • Weeds invite their friends over for huge parties when you go away on holiday but never send their guests home.
  • Weeds are, in short, a menace.


  1. I've just found this blog and I think it's great that you are involving your children in gardening. This is something I'm trying to do but on a much smaller scale then you (I don't have the room to do anything grander) but I like to think that "every little helps" (to coin a phrase,

  2. You know what else weeds do? They sneak their roots in to twine with the roots of your precious, but fragile whatever-it-is, so that if you try and pull the weed you end up destroying your precious whatsit-plant. So you don't dare. But on the other hand, if you don't it will grow twice as fast and four times as vigorously as your precious plant - so you're scuppered either way.

    Weeds, in short, are devious.

  3. LOL I completely concur on the need to accept delay when gardening with children! I have had complete planting seasons pass me by- I tell myself that my investment in them will be repayed one day :)

    On the matter of weeds, another irritating point is that one gardener's treasure can become another gardener's weed. Hence I am plagued by canna lillies, mothweed and some irritatingly persistent running groundcover. And more broadly, Australians have gardeners of various scales to thank for blackberries, gorse, vinca, pampas grass, honeysuckle, freesias, arum lillies, lantana, banana passionfruit, waterweed...............