Everyday, I go out to look at my seedlings. I want to check their progress, see if they need water, see if they are going to survive the sudden drop in temperature, see how well they are growing. I talk to them, I touch them, I check the soil around them. Sometimes I go out many times during the day, even though I know what I see might be the same.
I am never disappointed in them if they are not thriving. I know that they are exactly where I placed them. I fix what I can and then let them do what they were made to do. If they wilt, I am not angry with them. I am sad, but not angry.
In my garden, I have some weeds. There are really two kinds of weeds that invade the planted areas. One is a Mexican Primrose that is prolific in the spring and likes to grow beautiful pink flowers. The roots are fairly straight down and they are easily removed from the areas they don’t belong.
The other kind is not so nice. I have both mint and grass that think they can take over places they aren’t welcome. Both of these weeds have a complex root system that sends out shoots to spread. If I see grass growing, I know that pulling it will be something that disrupts the soil for several inches, and sometimes even a few feet! The mint is easier to pull up, but the same thing happens. By the time I see those delicious smelling leaves, I know that the roots run under the soil for at least a couple feet and pulling them could potentially destroy those tender new plants that are just becoming established.
Again though, I am never angry that my lovely planted seeds are in the path of these annoying and destructive weeds. In fact, when contemplating what to get rid of, I always take them into consideration. If pulling a weed is going to cause my plants to be uprooted or greatly disturbed, I will leave the roots in place and just clip the symptoms of the “disease”. When my plants are established and can handle a little upheaval I will revisit the problem and attack it with careful alacrity.
My job as gardener is to tend the garden. To do everything in my power to empower my plants to do what they are designed to do: to grow, to produce fruit, to feed my family. I take great joy in the successes of my plants. I know that if they are given the opportunity to grow to their potential they will be beautiful and full of fruit. If they struggle, I am there to help them along, tenderly. If they die, or are choked off before I can get rid of the weeds, I am angry…at those darn weeds! And sad that they never got the chance to shine, to be what they were “born” to be…
Hmmm….I think that the Great Gardener does an even better job than me…