Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Weeding

A bindweed leaf covers a bee balm flower.
I haven't spent enough time in my yard lately. I can always tell. Weeds. Give them an inch and they grow a mile. Bindweed does this in particular. I spend the early part of the growing season pulling it up, especially out of the bee balm. It knows that once the bee balm reaches its full height of three feet, I can't reach the vine's roots.

Those roots are impressive. My best attempts at pulling it have yielded six inches to a full foot of root. If it breaks, bindweed simply grows back. Give it a couple of good rains and it covers over the tops of the plants with heart-shaped, sun-depriving leaves. Soon it is knotting and redoubling until the tangle of vines weigh down the weakened plants and break the stems.

The thing is that bindweed has a pretty flower. They open like morning glory, a white and purple streaked trumpet that heralds the dawn. But don't be fooled. As lovely as the flowers are, the vine is insidious. It always looks for an opportunity to take control.

Life is very much like this. We are attracted to the beauty of things without considering what lurks behind it. We might try to make something work because that flower is so pretty, we don't want to lose it. But those flowers close quickly. Seeds follow and create a new generation of problems. The longer we leave it, the deeper its roots dig in, and the harder it is to extract it when we realize we have to do something about it.

4 comments:

  1. It sounds like weeds are the bullies of the plant world. That's why it's so hard to fight them. That bee balm flower is gorgeous! Love, Mom

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  2. It is a very pretty control freak. I like the lesson you've got out of this.

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  3. That is a terrific metaphor. Your bee balm is lovely. We have bee balm in our yard too, but yours looks healthier. ;-) Is it attracting hummingbirds?

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  4. Stephanie: We usually have one regular hummingbird to this patch. We also have a red flowered honeysuckle on the other side of the house that she loves. I've tried putting out a hummingbird feeder, but I'm really bad on the upkeep of those things. It's a bit more labor intensive than filling feeders!

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