The Neglectful Gardener 


For more years than I  can count, my garden seems to have a big problem – neglect and weeds.  It seems I just get a handle on them, then life, weather, other priorities and yes, laziness lets the weeds take over again.

Some of the things that kept me from being a faithful gardener I don’t regret. We got much needed rain, renovations done in our lake cabin, visitors ( adult ones but especially little ones ) that I gladly stop and pay attention to. Or there is  conversation with friend or family, or even work !

Tonight, as I tackle the weeds, and make a good effort at cleaning it up, it almost becomes addictive.  Finding the plants thriving despite being surrounded by weeds, thinning the grass from within the delicate carrot tops and rejoicing at new growth and small tomatoes on the vines. I love the harvest so it does make the weeding and upkeep  worth it.

In the quiet, I take time to think. Certainly this years growth ( especially the porchulaca  that I had pretty well eliminated ) is a direct result of last years “ lost summer.” No time to weed or even to harvest much of it when much time was spent at a Regina hospital beside my husband. How hard it was last year to  “put away” my dreams of the garden, give away some of the harvest  and face my limitations – hence the multiplied problem this year.

Weeds are often used as metaphors for life, and today that is what occupies my thoughts. The creeping weed, spreading out from one root and appearing to take over the entire space, but gone with one quick sweep. People can be like that too.. appearing powerful, and all confident, but really only held up by one root that is easily pulled. That single root can be their downfall.  There are also the  large spindly weeds – easily picked because they have thin and weak roots – they appear to be growing well but really have no foundation.  As I pull at  the thistle, stubborn, heavy and prickly, I remember that if I don’t get the whole root, it will grow back strong and thicker.   One doesn’t want to get too close to the thistle, but they are prominent and can be  pretty when flowering. We could be attracted to them until we see that allowing them to thrive can mean that the fruit bearing plants will shrivel.

It is not easy sometimes to find the good fruit amongst all the weeds, but as I pulled, dug and gathered a few bags of weeds I realized that my garden will thrive despite these intruders. Interesting, though, in my garden, intruders tend to be the norm. My garden seems to survive despite them  and often the good plants choke out the weeds.  Maybe this year I needed the weeds to take time to reflect.

I remember my granddaughter helping me weed last year.  She was so excited to  discover dill weed, putting it on every piece of her dinner for the next few meals. I thin out the weeds making sure I save some dill weed for her as she has already asked if there is dill – “like the pickles” – in my garden this year. Dill, though a good weed, tasty and fragrant can also take over a garden if controls not placed on it.

It is hard sometimes even with people, to discern the weeds from the fruit bearing vines. We turn our back and the weeds have taken over.  Is it worth some work to discern the weeds from the vegetables so my garden can thrive.

I want a garden where all is beautiful  and the weeds don’t choke out the plants. I think I want that for life too, but that isn’t real.. sometimes we need the weeds to be able to see the beauty. That takes a lot of digging around. That also  takes intention – if I don’t go up to the garden to weed, I won’t even notice that the weeds have taken over. It is so much easier ” just not to look.”

I am in a spot  right now where I need to be able to discern weeds from fruit bearing vines. Wish it was as easy in life as it is in the garden. I pray to God for that discernment. I can trust that  He will be faithful to answer my prayer.

About Terry Jago

Retired nurse manager interested in living my best life with natural and healthy living choices.
This entry was posted in Faith, Healthy LIving, Living life, musing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Neglectful Gardener 

  1. Suzie Cheel says:

    Oh for a bigger garden to roam and play in, I can pick tiny tomatoes though that come from my worm farm compost. I think you are right we do need the weeds to remind us of the beauty and I have learned from a friend that so many of those weeds are edible

    • jagoterry says:

      Yes.. I once had a hill of thistles in my cabin lot.. we got a handle on it but one friend told me it was a treasure !! Thanks for your words. My graden is MUCH too big but I did get a handle on it this week.

  2. I love how you weave the weeds in our emotional garden of life with the ones in our backyard garden. Yes, life has weeds, but like the dandelions in my garden, I eat them, and that can make me stronger. Love your blog and sharing.
    Kat Kanavos

  3. jagoterry says:

    Thanks for your comment. My blog has enhanced both my thinking and writing skills !

  4. I’m moving to a new place with a small concrete yard with a smaller patch of dirt. Which I will tend, and to which I will add planter boxes so I can grow some greens. And right now, being in the weeds of planning, packing, and moving, this is very helpful. Sometimes life and my business are just weedy!!

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