Turns out what I’ve been diligently watering and waiting for flowers is actually a noxious weed. Ah. It turns out too that rampant sweet peas are renegade ornamentals, escapees from gardens, ornamentals on the loose.
Flora have a vocabulary of war: takeover, seige, aliens, foreign invaders. They invade, creep, grasp.
Purple Loosestrife is a weed, as is scotch thistle. Dandelion is not noxious but diligently pulled out, not by me, but sells in Whole Foods for ore than cilantro. If you are smart, you can harvest these tender greens in early spring.
There is a law that no weed in my town can be over 12 inches, though I’m not sure of the situation if the weed is hanging its head down. So I spent a few days madly weeding, first pulling out the ones that looked like bare branched stiffened yellow twigs; then the cheat grass followed by goat grass. What I did not anticipate was the pleasure to be had at the sight of bare (more or less) ground afterwards. A blank canvas for new plants! Sedum? Legal daisies? Wooly thyme to match the rocks to give a Mediterranean aspect?
Wooly thyme seems best, with creeper flowers. Pacifist and multicultural to the core.
Patience in an impatient world. I can wait a long time before making a left turn, much to the derision of the drivers behind me. Well, lives are involved. Now I wait as the manuscript is opened and read. I am resisting calling up & asking, have you received it yet?
Meanwhile, in the garden, the lone iris continues to put forth bloom after bloom. I’m told it’s a stellar year for irises. The parsley seems as prolific as mint. The feverfew–no dandelion puffs–is growing tall, and next to the columbine grows a plant I don’t know. It’s a vine of some sort. The sweet pea firmly refuse to be trained onto their strings, and I can’t tell if I planted a seed that now looks like a maple leaf. The cosmos–I will not buy more plants, I will not buy more plants–await the earth. Hmm. I have to find them a sunny dry spot, but this year, I’ve planted a lot of little moisture lovers.
So now comes the period in the garden akin to revision. I must take stock, deadhead, trim, and douse the ground with compost tea. Maybe rearrange the paragraphs, I mean, pots. Transplant the oregano which is needs more room. The last quarter moon cycle is good for these things. How much easier is planting than revising.
I’ve been thinking of a new book, a botanical sort of novel.
A bee is walking across the concrete, struggling. Is this more of the untimely death of honey bees? Or is it merely foraging among the fallen flowers from last night’s wind? Can I help it? Another one buzzes near. It’s nearly eight in the morning. I think the bee has broken one of its feet.
My help is of little help, more traumatic as I tried to get it onto the ground, but it firmly came back to the concrete. I’ve lost track of it. Hopefully it’s resting. Euthanasia occurred to me but recovery still remains a hope.
June 1 & the iris has bloomed! The first time in three summers. I am overjoyed. It’s a pale white one with a yellow center. It could be English Cottage crossed with Copyright, or Angelic Wings. It might even be Brother Carl. Nordica is also a possibility. definitely not Beverly in White, who is a cotillion debutante with frills. I expected violet of course.
Did it bloom overnight? What a surprise this morning to see it fully, unless it lowers its arms tomorrow.
I finished the manuscript. It made me very happy, and then a bit restless–the post-writing blues? Then the iris bloomed.
drawings by William Rickatson Dykes, 1913