The Garden, Oh the Garden Part 1: The weeds!

As I sit here nursing my ganglion cyst, I ponder on what may have caused this strange knob to appear on my wrist. While I know that these things happen – my theory is my garden!

My garden has been my project since moving back. While living overseas my father maintained the garden to a degree, by mowing the lawn and general upkeep. Before I arrived my mum spent hours trying to make it presentable to me.  Well once I arrived, I was initially pleasantly surprised. Soon however, the true nature of my garden began to present itself to me. The main culprit was the ‘un-killable’ weed – Peruvian Lilly (Alstroemeria aurea). It had never been properly removed and had taken over my garden, getting in all sorts of crevices, under paving, walls, bricks etc and so began my battle to correct this.

A pretty, but very persistent weed

I haven’t been able to eradicate the weed becuase its tubers are sometimes hard to take out, especially when they get tangled amonst other plant roots.

When I attended a composting workshop run by my local Council, the presenter (Peter Rutherford) encouraged us to enjoy the diversity of our garden and while this flower may look pretty in photographs and I might have one day even looked upon it fondly while walking the Inca Trail in Peru (or as some would call it the Quechua trail because the Incans never walked the trail, but were carried by the Quechuans), I knew that it had no place in my garden.

I have often wondered about what makes a weed a weed – like why did I have this reaction to this flower (my husband thought it looked nice – much to my horror!) and my thought is that weeds generally are not happy inhabiting their little niche area – they have to take over everything. Like this Peruvian Lily. If it was in a small part of the garden I would have not gotten so worked up, but no, it had to try and take over the whole garden and I wanted to do other things with those spaces and there lies my definition of a weed.

This weed spreads by these bobbules as I call them, which are water filled tubers. They break off easily and you need to get every damn one out, because each one is a new plant. Over the last year I have spent hours and I mean hours over weekdays and weekends tracing, digging and pulling this weed out. It has at times felt like the un-winnable war. Like there has been a standoff between me and this plant.  I have tried to like it – have tried to not care about it so that I may enjoy some time with my kids over the weekend, but I have always been itching to get to the garden to pull this weed out. I have dug, pulled, poisoned (does not work) and covered this weed. After nearly one year, I can claim some success.  It is still around, but much less so.  Some of the other weeds that have also called my garden their home include:

  • Privet;
  • Asthma weed;
  • Ochna;
  • Cassia (Senna pendula);
  • Turkey Rubarb (Acetosa sagittata) another killer weed I spent many hours digging up;
  • Tradescantia.

While all of these have presented their own special challenges (and still do), they are now manageable.

As I look across my mostly Peruvian Lily free garden, what do I see? Neater and tidier garden beds, vegetables and kangaroo paws and other native plants. So while I sometimes questioned my own sanity, I think it was worth the very hard work over the last year.

This is part one of my garden journey over the last year. Stay in touch to hear more from my garden adventures.

This was taken while my house was being rented. My previous tenants weren’t into gardening much. When I moved back, I have to say it didn’t look this bad – largely thanks to my wonderful parents. The weeds were there though, underground and lurking to pop up when given the chance!

I removed all the Turkey Rubarb, then planted with some hardy natives, mulched and scored these figurines from my mother’s old shop. Looks totally different to the way it once was.

I am yet to learn the art of taking care of roses, but a prune over winter and some love, organic fertiliser and much rain has yeilded me these beauties. They smell just like rose water and fill the backyard with such a beautiful scent. I say roses need to smell and mine do thankfully!

~ by em0navari on November 4, 2012.

2 Responses to “The Garden, Oh the Garden Part 1: The weeds!”

  1. Great post Elham…My mum gets the same lump on her wrist when she does some gardening. xx

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