A day after I had declared Mission Accomplished on the War on Weeds, I looked out in the morning to a fresh, lush green lawn. There were no yellow heads anywhere in sight. I went off, very pleased with myself, to prepare the morning tea.
A few hours later, I looked out again, feeling very self-congratulatory and expecting to see a lush green lawn again. This time I got a nasty shock. There were some twenty yellow flowers in the front lawn. I rushed to look into the backyard. Yes, there were another twenty odd flowers in the backyard too! (There were more in the sides of the house too, I ended up weeding around fifty of them).
No, these didn’t grow magically in a few hours (although I shall not rush to discount that possibility, these are wicked sorcerers). The plants had just been hiding under the blades of the grass.
Later, when I went to weed them, I realized that some of them had lurked just inches away from where I rested the previous day, declaring victory on the War on Weeds. No doubt they had pointed their leaves at me and laughed. Or perhaps they sneered.
The birds in my garden love the dandelions. I love the birds in my garden. But I fail to see how you can then turn around and say, logically then, I should love the dandelions. That’s not logic at all.
The other issue with the War on Weeds is that I have to fight it on two fronts. There are the Dandelions, and then there are the Canada Thistles. The thistles have pretty flowers too, pink ones that all you dandelion-lovers would no doubt love. I dread the thistles much more than the dandelions. The thistles not only have tap roots like the dandelions, they also have prickly leaves, and they can grow more than six feet tall. And they simply invade my lawn near the rushes.
The thistles are now threatening to take over my precious perennial bed, and I can see I have to devote all my resources to fighting them first. The perennial bed will be the easier battle. Getting them to realize that I don’t need them as a border to my lawn is going to be much harder. I can see them now, marching in lines at the end of my lawn. Soon there will be bright pink flowers and puffball seeds that waft slowly in the wind, and after that, I might as well brig out the white flag.
Dandelions still grow in my yard. Like that army in Macbeth that lay concealed in Birnam Wood, my dandelions are hiding in the grass. They will come forward soon, and start an attack all over again. Meanwhile, I am keeping a look out every day for the next yellow flower. And the first pink one.
Sometimes I wonder at my weeding out a pretty yellow flower to make way for a lawn that doesn’t have any decent flowers, that drinks up fertilizer and weedicide and hundreds of gallons of water. But I look out at the green lawns beside mine, and the moment passes. All I can say is, at least I have that moment.