Thursday, March 13, 2008

Notes from a Rusty Gardener

Inspired by 60 degree weather and clear skies, I visited my garden for the first time in about four months. It's buried under last fall's papery leaves, hardy weed clumps, and brittle, matted vines. Already the chocolate mint has furtively dispatched stubborn runners under the mess, punctuated by tiny green leaves and poised to engulf the herb garden even more dramatically this year. The flat-leaved chives (I don't know their real name) are poking wanly through the thick seed-head stalks of last summer, promising another bumper crop of a marginally useful culinary supplement.

The neighbor's chain link fence (between us and the infamous dogs) is partially obscured by vines. That was the goal when I painstakingly dug in ivy cuttings and watered morning glory seeds all along the fence, which borders the vegetable garden. The problem is, the ivy seems to prefer sticking its fingers into the garden instead of properly climbing the fence. And the morning glories, now a wall of thousands of seed pods ready to fly open at the slightest disturbance, love to smother tomato plants or anything else within reach.

Once they're in, there's no getting them out.

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