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AFTER MANY YEARS OF MOWING AND WEEDING in obeisance to the doctrine of Southern Living, I no longer have the will to battle Nature. Horsetail and dandelion, hawk weed (a zesty paprika color here), buttercup, plantain, fireweed, stinging nettle, and pushki (Wonder Woman Queen Anne’s lace) are prolific in this area, and by area I mean the ditch in front of my house, the driveway and banks on both sides of it, and all across the power line easement at the back of the lot. Plus, across the street, there’s a stand of alders that reproduces by using wind power to launch ballistic seeds to the aforementioned area.

My dovish approach to gardening, to live and let live, has been a great disappointment to my next-door neighbor who told me last summer, during a slightly tense discussion of my landscaping style, that she had waged war on weeds for 35 years. She’s a real gardener, with a greenhouse and perennials and blooming trees in her back yard. It’s a nice view from my kitchen window, which allows me to see over her eight-foot privacy fence.  which separates her de-weeded zone from my refugee camp.

With this background information (oh, how I do go on), you may understand how delighted I was this afternoon, capturing dandelions going from bloom to seed as I crawled by them, when one half of a couple who walk their dogs in the ‘hood called out, “I admire your green thumb.”  I was crouched at the edge of the DWZ with a handful of Alaska-size dandelions. I stood up and said, “Oh, it’s not me, it’s Mother Nature.” I gestured expansively toward the refugee settlement, mostly horsetail.

“Oh,” she said. “Sorry. I meant the other yard.”

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Copyright 2017. Genie Hambrick

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