I definitely fall on the liberal, live-and-let-live side—no surprise there, I reckon.

Still, I'm vexed by the partial takeover of deep-rooted goldenrod in my herb bed, the hijacking of my tender onions by plantain, and the increasing presence of burdock at the edges of our humble lawn. I try to keep up with the lambs quarter, purslane, and other edible weeds by...eating them, but really, how much can one person consume, especially when a thicket of officially sanctioned vegetables seductively beckons?

With fall settling in, the weeds in my vegetable beds tower in valiant certainty of their reproductive success—tough, intractable beings at the height of their power. In their midst, the cuke leaves die back, tomatoes falter, and potato vines shrivel away, reminding me that my influence upon this land is tenuous and short-lived indeed.

In such moments, despite my high-minded attempts at botanical egalitarianism, I feel a bit defeated by the persistence (even dominance) of weeds in beds I worked so hard to clear and maintain earlier in the season.

But then comes Labor Day weekend, and a visit with good and interesting friends. Peter quickly sets to gathering goldenrod flowers, bud by yellow bud, for an herbal infusion in Smirnoff's Vodka. He digs burdock roots for a tasty side dish for Friday's evening meal. He hangs branches, roots, and leaves of various weedy things to dry in the kitchen and speaks of tinctures, remedies, teas. Roni gathers yarrow, goldenrod, and purple aster to create two gorgeous floral arrangements, adding berried fronds of asparagus for an elegant flourish.

To these fresh perspectives must be added the bees' opinion of "weeds"—expressed in a frenzy of joyous attention when burdock sends forth its pale gray pollen, mullein raises its yellow flagpole to salute the season's end, and the autumnal duo of goldenrod and aster provide the last substantial provisions to lay away for the long, cold season ahead.

In short, I've been clearly out-voted in my ambivalence toward weeds—and the landslide nature of the pro-weed election doesn't even begin to take account of the dozens of goldfinches cheerily celebrating the abundant stands of thistle that, try as I might, I'll never get a handle on.

1 comment:

KC said...

again, what a great pleasure. Thanks so much. Seems like thanks are due to Peter and Roni, too!