Friday, July 25, 2014

Just like a real garden

Robert Frost famously wrote in his poem The Mending Wall, "Something there is that doesn't love a wall..".  I maintain the same thing applies to paths.

No sooner have I cleared our walkways of weeds and overhanging branches than they repay my opening up of the space to the sun and breeze by growing right back in.  Under some circumstances, I'd swear the regrowth begins in the space of a day or less.

Lately the mornings have not been particularly cool and the humidity is punishing. The hours I've spent weeding and pruning and digging out under the circumstances are what I consider "hard labor".  I'm quite pleased with the results but fear they won't last long, so up go these photos as a record of the work done so far.

Two BEFORE views.  There are an equal number of weeds and self seeded garden plants at play.

As you see, these portions are half cleared.  As is so often the case I nearly forgot to take a "before" shot at all!

And now the AFTER shot.  Reasonably pristine and for all its brevity, a thing of beauty:
The side and far back paths still need work but they remain in shade a greater portion of the day and so are easier to address.  I'll spend 90 minutes each morning there until I finish, while entertaining the hope a majority of the weeds have called it quits for the summer. (I know - that is a ridiculous presumption but I need to pretend or I'm afraid I'll simply throw in the trowel!).

Why bother to show such nuts and bolts, potentially boring photographs of something as simple as a cleared path?  Because I feel many blogs are often filled with spectacular photos of garden successes alone, presenting a deceptive idea of what it takes to garden.  Some blogs remind me a bit of Disney properties, where teams of clean up crews appear from underground tunnels, do their work out of the sight of the public, and then disappear again leaving behind the impression the grounds have somehow maintained themselves.
I am here to say it outright.  These spaces do not maintain themselves! For most of us there are certainly no tunnels, and potentially no "teams". There are only our own hours to spend and our willingness to do the work, whatever it is, when it is pleasant to do so, and as importantly, when it is not.

In the meantime, I'm focusing on the parts of the path already cleared, and enjoying the view for as long as I can.  Weeded! Trimmed! Just like a real garden....