How does your Garden Grow?

Weekends are still weekends around here.  Time to do something different, different from visits to doctor’s offices, different from the routine things we do through the week.  How did I ever hold a full-time job?

Mom always said, “Nature abhors a vacuüm.”  She was speaking of the garden, and quoting Aristotle, but I don’t know who said this first.  Aristotle was referring to our physical world where he observed that even the empty spaces are filled with air.  Mom was talking about weeds.  It was she who taught me the best way to combat weeds is with plants you like.

So I filled my garden to overflowing.  Unfortunately, I have neighbors who never met a weed they didn’t like, and those plants migrate into our yard.  No wonder wild rabbits have taken over.

Yesterday, David and I worked outside pulling up weeds.  Some of the poke berry bushes were so tall, hovering over our heads, we had to cut them down.  The birds we love, love pokeberries, and they are sprouting everywhere.  Below a link that tells you about this North American plant.

American Pokeweed is a large semi-succulent herbaceous perennial plant growing up to 10 feet in height. It is native to eastern North America, the Midwest, and the Gulf Coast, with more scattered populations in the far West.

Some people use the berries to make dye.  Poor people eat the leaves in a dish called poke salat.  The plant can be poisonous or medicinal.  Farmers hate it because it can kill livestock. Catbirds, Cardinals, and other berry-eating birds spread the seeds in their droppings.  The plants multiply rapidly.  They produce a huge tap root and although they die back to the ground in winter, they return each spring.


John the handyman came by yesterday.  After he told me it would probably cost over $20,000 to do a kitchen makeover, I decided the cabinets didn’t look so bad and we agreed he would fix the broken cutlery drawer.  John works for Habitat for Humanity in his spare time, and says my kitchen looks pretty good compared to many he has seen.  All we need here is a good cleaning and the walls painted.

My daughter was visiting and we got into a discussion about her cross-country trip and geography.  Somehow John and I got off into a conversation about Uzbekistan, Central Asia and the Middle East.  Turns out we both love geography and grew up with Rand McNally maps, globes, and geography puzzles.

I am amazed at the level of ignorance about geography and history in the US and probably the rest of the world, but delighted to find a fellow enthusiast.  Of course geography changes over time…a fact brought home to me as I have done research in the classroom, at work, and now at home on my family tree.  Maps..its all about maps.


My grandsons started school this week and the oldest is now a high school freshman. Last time I visited he was studying Japan in one of his classes.  Wonder what he will study this year.  I will find out in about two months when I see him.

First day of school.

First day of school.


10 thoughts on “How does your Garden Grow?

  1. We ate poke but only the first new shoots in the Spring once they got taller too bitter and tough. My Mom also pickled the stems ,love pickled poke. $20,000 for a kitchen redo!! That new house in Tampa that we bought, before moving to Maryland, in 1966 was only $19,500,it was a four bedroom two bath house, A friends husband teaches middle school history and the lack of basic facts among the students is staggering. I remember history started in first grade and right on to graduation.


    • The first house we bought after moving here was $21,000. Couldn’t qualify to buy it today…..probably selling for a quarter million. Housing prices in this area are obscene. Mostly government workers, or government contractors buying the housing. Makes you wonder. Old Senator Byrd was wise…shipping jobs out of the area to other parts of the US with a lower cost of living.


  2. Interesting about the Pokeweed-seed eating birds connection. We have a (so far) minor Pokeweed problem at the edge of part of our woods. But we have a major problem with a tree species dropping multitudes of berries on part of our deck.The supply is vastly larger than what the birds are able to consume. I need to do some detective work to decide just what is going on and if anything is to be done about it.


  3. Well, if you can weed your garden, then your knee must be improving. David is in a quandary as to whether he should proceed with his TKR surgery in October, as he no longer is in severe pain. If it aint broke, why fix it?


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