Mother Nature plays a joke on me

Me in my parents “Victory Garden” in 1943.

Yesterday, when my daughter visited, I gave her several packets of seeds.  I have been gardening for over 60 years, and the small lot I have in the city is filled to the brim…well almost.  Thus I go “nuts” looking at plant and seed catalogues and then discover I have very few places to place anything new. As my daughter and her husband just moved to their new farm (17 acres) I have whole new fields of dreams.  Fortunately, my SIL tolerates my seed giving and plant cutting and much of what I share ends up somewhere. 

Despite my efforts, I still find myself pulling weeds in my own garden, mostly in areas where no favored plant has yet taken root. When walking around her garden, Mom always said, “Nature abhors a vacuum.”  So the bare spot today will house some selected plant tomorrow, either by choice or Mother Nature’s design.

I find MN works through her creatures, thus the birds leave all sorts of goodies such as porcelain Berry vines, dandelions, chickweed, crab grass, and around here, Virginia Creeper.  I let a Virginia Creeper cover part of the front of my house once, and my daughter suggested I pull it down as it would destroy the bricks.  However, later I discovered the creeper was deciduous and therefore did not harbor the damp under its leaves…damp which destroys masonry and trees. 

English Ivy is the vine to destroy.  A walk through our parks and you will see that hideous plant everywhere strangling everything in its path, sadly even 50-100 year old trees. And, the English Ivy does not lose its leaves in winter, so it harbors moisture which will damage anything it uses as a support.  I have noticed that the British cultivate the Virginia Creeper which one can find covering many old structures.  Surprise, surprise.  What some call a weed is really a great little plant.

MN always has a moral as well as a sense of humor.  The moral here I think is that plain old common things are often viewed as wonderous when they reach other shores.  I know there is an old adage here, but rack my brain as I might I am having difficulty recalling it. Maybe I learned it from my Mom when I was a child.

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