Friday, July 29, 2011

Don't Weed Out Beauty...

Nestled as I am in my new home, as most of the moving boxes have made their way to the recycling center and my belongings have been tucked onto shelves or into drawers, I can't help but turn my attention outdoors to the yard. While I have been busily attending to the matters inside the house, the weeds and wildflowers just outside my door have been having a heyday. With nobody to keep them within their bounds, they have gone crazily wild, twisting and extending, encouraging newcomers to join their ranks and basically taking over the place.

Pokeweed is everywhere, blocking the walk to my front door and growing to huge proportions in the blink of an eye. Where to begin I wonder? Which plants get pulled and which ones stay? Having been a long time gardener, I know which ones would be considered weeds according to the botanical experts, but the idea of plants being defined by good or bad bothers me. Playing god and deciding the fate of a living thing bothers me. Who's to say which plant really is a weed? Certainly not me. So what to do?

I don't know the answer to this one. Our whole society is based on rewarding those things that are the most beautiful, and ignoring those things that are not so. By extending this thinking to our gardens and pulling out the weeds, we end up with a very contrived looking planting. When people exert power over their looks and weed out what they consider inferior and puff up their looks through hair dying and makeup, they get this same contrived look too. When nature is allowed a free hand, true beauty blooms in our fields and gardens. When people are allowed freedom to be natural in their looks, true beauty blooms there too. Fear of being different, perpetuates the line of thinking that allows us to groom ourselves and nature. Breaking away takes courage yet brings freedom and a relief of no longer having to follow the rules.

Thankfully, in this town I now live in, there aren't many rules to follow. There is a freedom to just let things go - for both gardens and personal looks- and I love that. Maybe freedom from expectations will allow the weeds flourishing in my garden to have a chance to live out their lives here, happily ever after, as will I with my gray hair and lack of makeup.

5 comments:

Carolyn H said...

Darcy, Just be glad you live where you can do what you will with your wild garden. I can tell you stories about people who weren't allowed to have a vegetable garden, have any plant taller than 10 inches in the yard, etc. And who are these yard police that say only acres of sterile grass is all that's okay?

Grampy said...

My wife and I plant wildflower mixes in several spots. Weeding? Many times the favorite thing I see is a foxtail hanging over a Zinnia or Marigold. Poke weed has so many stages that are wonderful to look at. I sure don't spend much time fretting about the ?Weeds. Enjoy your new home.

Darcy said...

Carolyn-

I have lived in places that put a higher value on lawn than veggie and flower gardens. In those places, during every spring and fall the air is filled with the scent of chemicals as they are being applied to achieve the perfect green lawn carpet and every summer weekend the music one listens to is the roar of lawnmowers. Yuck!

Darcy said...

Grampy- Your place sounds beautiful and based on the pictures you put on your blog, it is beautiful. I always wondered how wildflower mixes did. Never have tried them.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

DARCY -- WEEDS ARE BEAUTIFUL! AND GOOD FOR THE SOIL! -- barbara