Bzzzz August 2nd, 2015

It is before 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning. As I do every morning I stepped on the bathroom scale and then looked in the mirror. On some mornings the news is worse than others. Today was a bad news day. I know the 2 and 4 a.m. moonlight walks with a diarrheal dog didn’t help how I looked. And I gained two pounds overnight.

sarah on black rug

Poor little dog post-bath.

At that moment the thought occurred to me that I may be on the downhill side of life. And what’s weird is that I can’t even remember becoming a grownup. I mean, I still find myself wondering what I want to be when I grow up. I still get these ideas that I can pursue all sorts of careers and passions.

“I want to be a professional figure skater!”

“I’m going to start a rock-and-roll girl band!”

“I think I would make a really good private detective!”

“I know! I’ll go to medical school!”

Reality intrudes most days. The fact is that I have a house with a big yard and garden. I have three cars, two dogs, eight pet chickens, progressive lenses, 27 magazine and two newspaper subscriptions and four sets of dinnerware.

Yes, in fact, I do call it dinnerware. When was the last time you heard someone other than a grownup say the word “dinnerware?” Never, that’s when.

The sad fact is, the train has left the station on my being a figure-skating-rock-and-roll-private-detective-doctor.

I’m not going to reveal my age, so let’s just say I’m past the age at which someone would consider me to be a kid. I know, for example, that you would look at me and think “Yup, she’s a grownup.” And the signs are all there.

I know I’m a grownup because I’m the one who cleans up the dog vomit at 4 a.m.

I know I’m a grownup because wearing a string bikini is no longer an option. (You’re welcome.)

I know I’m a grownup because I sometimes turn on closed captioning to watch True Detective.

I know I’m a grownup because I have a reminder on my calendar to change the heating and air conditioning air filters on the first of the month. It’s a paper calendar.

I know I’m a grownup when I hear rap music.

And weeds. Weeds make me know I’m definitely a grownup. No child voluntarily weeds. But here I am, a grownup, wide awake before 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning with the great big to-do list sitting on the kitchen counter that says in big capital letters “PULL WEEDS.”

Oh yes. I have grownup written all over me. I think I have a t-shirt in the back of my closet that says “Keep Calm. I’m a Grownup.”

You know what? Even if I’m a grownup I should do something to make weeding fun—or at least make weeding funny.

Two weeds walk into a bar…

prostrate spurge

prostrate spurge

Hey, I think this funny weed idea has legs. Already we have some funny weed names. Quakgrass. Nutgrass. Prostrate spurge. Creeping Charlie. Pigweed. Henbit. Hairy bittercress. I know someone was poking fun when they were naming these things.

What else can make weeds funny? Limericks. Limericks are funny.

There once was a gardener in Maine

Who set out to kill the purslane.

Instead of a weed she killed her best steed.

And now she’s considered insane.

No wait. That’s not funny at all. Let’s try again.

There once was a gardener in Beed

Who set out to kill a big weed.

Instead of a hoe he used his big toe

And now the whole garden’s weed seed.

Hummmm. Maybe this better?

There once was a gardener named Cass

Who set out to kill some quakgrass.

Instead of a hoe she used her big toe

Of course she is now on her ass.

Oh well. Time to go be a grownup, drink coffee and pull some weeds.

Now let’s see…two weeds walk into a bar…

Posted In: Gardening Life, Humor



Bzzzz August 31st, 2007

It’s a Japanese knotweed and is one of the most invasive weeds here in the Southern Maryland area.

The experts think it was originally introduced in the 1800s as an ornamental and as erosion control. It has been declared a noxious weed in many states. (Look here to see if your state is one of them.)


Japanese Knotweed

As you can see, we have an extremely healthy crop growing next to the driveway. It’s only alive because 1) It’s providing some erosion control; 2) It’s about a quarter mile from our house and 3) It’s nearly impossible to eliminate anyway.

Sure, sure. It looks rather pretty right now with all its little white flowers. But it spreads like mad. It grows to over 10 feet tall and has to be hacked back with a machete so that we can continue to use the driveway.


Japanese Knotweed Flowers

I climbed in a couple of months ago to try and get it under control. The stalks are rather bamboo like—strong and hollow. Because it’s so tall and leans over, you have to practically climb inside the stuff to cut it down. I suppose you could make an effective fort in the stuff if you were an enterprising kid with the need for a fort.

Another noxious weed here in Southern Maryland is the pokeweed. I hate this weed too. The pokeweed grows with red stems and produces dark berries in late summer.



Although both the leaves and berries are poisonous to mammals, the berries are eaten by birds, which are unaffected by the toxins. As another example that Southerners will eat almost anything (pig feet, chitterlings, okra) pokeweed salad was a common dish in the South, made by repeatedly boiling the leaves to reduce the toxins.

I believe that the only weed that I hate more than these two is poison ivy.

Okay, that’s three “I hates” in a single garden blog entry.

Do these weeds grow near you? Or, God forbid, do you have these weeds? What are you doing about it? I could use some advice. (I don’t think dousing with gasoline and lighting them on fire is a good choice.)

By the way, thanks for your notes and emails to Sophie on her guest blog entry. She survived my travels only because we hire a nanny to keep the little dogs company during the day. (Okay, the dog nanny helps out in other ways too, but mostly she thinks she’s here for the little dogs.)

–Robin (Bumblebee)

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Posted In: Gardening

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