“A weed is but an unloved flower.” ― Ella Wheeler Wilcox
There are no unloved flowers on my little piece of heaven. My bride makes sure. From wild morning glory to thistle; she loves them all…much to my vexation.
My little piece of heaven is a wildlife refuge; a jungle, the bush, the wilds, at times a rain forest. Ninty acres of tangles, bramble, and bushes. No area is more tangled than in my backyard.
No animal is unwelcomed, no reptile reviled, not even the juvenile black rat snake I’ve twice moved from the porch as he tries to find a way to the wren’s nest built on the fan.
Squirrels and ground squirrels battle cardinals for the sunflower seeds I carefully place in the bird feeders…bird feeders Linda Gail…they are bird feeders. Make that squirrel and bird feeders.
A passing raccoon looks up and briefly contemplates making them raccoon feeders. I’m sure she’ll be back once she comes up with a plan to scale the deck the feeders rest under.
More importantly and to the point, there is no blossom too small not to be called a flower. Miss PE has never met a weed; flora, fauna or human.
If it were cold it would be blackberry winter, but it is already blackberry summer. The white blooms are so bright they seem to glow in the dark.
It is the spring grass cutting season and my bride’s proclivities bring us into conflict.
I have spent a goodly portion of my life cutting grass, endlessly walking or riding in mindless circles. From cutting hay in fields of tall fescue or oats as a youngster to the well-manicured Bermuda playing fields of my coaching career. From pristine lawns of zoysia…to, my weed-filled yard. No more mindless circles with Miss Linda in control… she is, most certainly, in control.
Don’t cut the clover, bees and rabbits love it. Stay away from the small yellow flowers put off by the wood sorrel that’s mixed in with the white blossoms of the wild strawberries. Nice little red strawberries that taste…they have no taste at all.
Those little purple thingies…No! No! No! We have plenty of Vinca minor and periwinkle. They put off bigger purple thingies! The wild violets and purple basil, No! No! No! Not unless you want to lose a body part.
Don’t touch the milkweed, butterflies feed on it…except that’s not milkweed, it’s burnweed. It never blooms and the butterflies have plenty of other plants to feed upon. We will have these stalky things all over the place. Six feet tall if an inch and not one butterfly flying about its blooms because there are no blooms. Not going to argue, who knows it may bloom this year.
We have plenty of butterflies on other blooms. Butterflies and bees, and yellow jackets building in the ground under the grass I’ve been forced to leave uncut. Mosquitoes by the gazillions hiding in all our greenery.
Please don’t misunderstand. I love wildflowers, real wildflowers. Our trillium, the wild sweet peas, the honeysuckle, wild iris, and other plants I have no name for.
I don’t like pokeweed. The birds don’t seem to like it either. And dammit, the privet is blooming…it is quite pretty. Pretty like my bride and a big pain in the butt to control. You are free to think about what I am thinking but I won’t say it for fear she might hear.
She was right about the native honeysuckle. I suggested we trim it up a bit…to the ground? Oh no! My fences are now covered in yellow and white. The yard smells wonderfully no matter which direction the wind blows and I just saw three hummingbirds and a half dozen butterflies buzzing about. See, we don’t need those spiky things.
The red-throated anole likes to hide in the honeysuckle. He suns himself on the gate, bright green in the sunshine. He blows out his little red-pink neck before running for cover when I approach. I hope he continues to hide well. My persistent black rat snake is now stalking him I think.
I must face the music. She’s right about everything…even when she’s not.
In case there is not enough color in the yard she’s made friends with a local nursery owner…flowers in baskets are everywhere. She can’t drive by the nursery without turning in. Cana lilies and begonias because our Tiger lilies and old-fashioned begonias haven’t bloomed yet I guess. Caladiums in and around the irises that are just now blooming. Colorful baskets of cascading blooms because…just because.
Despite the color they add, my yard will look like a jungle until fall when she finally lets me clean it up. Gee. I was hoping for a long summer anyway.
The image is from https://phys.org/news/2017-05-dandelion-seeds-pipette-lab.html
Don Miller’s author’s page can be accessed at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM