Meg vs. Wild

We have virtually no outdoor property attached to our apartment, plus we rent, so we own none of it and are admittedly reluctant to sink much cash into its maintenance. Yet even with just a few square rented feet I spend half my free time fighting nature in some way.  Here are some examples:

1. The futile exercise of trying to weed the rampantly overgrown flowerbeds

2. Trying to restrain the hostas which I thought were ugly from the start and now have eclipsed most of our walkway

3. Hacking away at the forsythias which were growing up our shed, but are now growing across the part of the walkway not under threat from the hostas, making the mailman bushwhack his way to the mailbox

OK- that’s just me vs. plants (and I kept it brief).  Moving on to me vs. elements and me vs. bugs and animals

4. Playing lifeguard to the flowers drowning in our planters, thanks to the constant rain

5. Spraying aphids with spray that’s supposed to kill them, but which seems to be causing them to increase. Wondering when my plants will start to die because of this

6. Watching from just feet away as completely punk squirrels rummage around in our potted plants–while they watch me watching them

Diagonally across the street from us there’s a foreclosed house which has been abandoned for quite some time, and nature is definitely reclaiming the property.  The driveway has a coat of green growing over it, and tall spindly weeds reach out from where the lawn once was, engulfing piles of building materials and some stray construction implements. It makes me think about how we are constantly trying to rein nature in, and nature is constantly working not to thwart us, but to just do its thing–namely, grow.  I think I should take some lessons from nature: worry less about reining in stuff that’s going on around me, and simply grow.too much rain


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One response to “Meg vs. Wild

  1. Scott Blaufuss

    Lived for almost 20 years in Cambridge with small spots of possible garden and know how you feel. But don’t give up and go totally Darwin. My last trip to the Library yielded several books on pruning (I have a lot of trees now in Acton) and reading about how pruning works was enlightening. Carefully working with nature, studying the tree and its environment, you are called to make small amputations that will allow the tree to grow stronger and healthier in the long run. Feels like what God does to me and what I try with my children when I discipline. Some unsolicited advice….
    – Hostas – in the spring when just pencil tips are poking through, slice that sucker in half with a shovel and toss away the side facing the walkway.
    – Forsithia – in spring or fall prune way back to woody stems.
    – Put weed smothering mulch around your flowers.
    – Remove the ‘tray’ from potted plant bottoms and drill several holes near the bottom to drain away extra water.
    – Look for plants that bugs don’t like – some herbs, marigolds, nasturtiums.
    – Plant more, plant often, expect loss

    Gardening has a lot to offer. The work required beats time on a treadmill handsdown.

    S. B.

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