Get Ready For Fall Clean Up

It’s never too early. We are still on vacation, just back from a few days driving to Montreal and a great visit there. The next three days will be chores and errands in the mornings and fun outings in the afternoons before school and work start up again.

Today we could avoid the garden no longer. Choked with noxious weeds. Shaggy. A mess. Poison ivy. Wild roses pricking the unwary. Thistles ditto. Bamboo sending in invading roots from the neighbor’s yard–runners up to thirty feet under my lawn from the fence. And, yes, I use those teachable moments to make heavy-handed political metaphors for the benefit of my groaning offspring…

So, after some heavy duty maternal preaching, seasoned with appeals to family spirit, guilt, veiled threats, and sweetened with the promise of filthy lucre if enough work was accomplished (it’s the American way) the kids and I proceeded outside. Crews of Mexicans at work on our neighbors’ microscopic and manicured yards. This had the effect of arousing a certain competitive spirit in my teen boy.

In an hour we had filled up the back of the Explorer with four huge barrels squished full of wild roses, vines, a dead yew bush, and weeds clipped and uprooted. Mulch had been spread. The front yard looked a lot better. You could see that there was a blueberry bush and blackberry canes in the side yard again (as opposed to eight foot high monsters of vines earlier.

I heard a yelp from my son on the side. He had pulled vigorously at some tall weeds and disturbed a ground nest of yellow jackets. He was too fast for them. I said gently:

“You know, honey bunny, (he is 17 but tolerates such maternal foolishness if NOBODY is around to hear it) it’s like politics. Nasty critters get settled in and don’t like it when you disturb them. They’ll sting you no matter what. You can’t reason with them. So just go do something else, and I’ll deal with them. ”

We finished up fetching and carrying the piles of weeds from the rest of the project, amazed at how the weeds had just sprung up and choked the flowers and vegetables. A little neglect on our part, and things we had planted with high hopes were either dead or stunted.

Again, I nudged him: “This happens in politics and the economy, too…We were sloppy this summer because it was hot, and we were busy with other things, so we didn’t take care of the garden. Well, people are often the same way about their political liberties and keeping track of what those scummy politicians want to do with our money. You can’t be. If we had weeded the garden every time we walked thru it (the way we do most years) it would be fine now. The same with politics. The worst thing in the world for corrupt and authoritarian political leaders is a citizenry that is alert and intelligent and keeping an eye on them.”

“Sheesh, Mom…”

Oh well, subtlety never was my strong point….heheh But I hope all of you are ready to do a LOT of weeding in late fall. Be ruthless! We have a beautiful garden and a lot of pests to root out of it.