The tree that is right above you when you are in the white hammock has leaves shaped like stars. So, when you’re in the hammock, pretending to read, but really half-napping and half-watching the clouds and listening to the wind and the birds, thousands of green stars dance above you, right above you, just out of reach.
I spent the morning finishing up weeding every bed except for the three sisters’ beds. I’m sad to say that I need the things that are supposed to be there to be a little taller before I can tell and pull out the things that aren’t supposed to be there.
I lost the handy “what’s planted where” map my mom and I worked up, so I am happy to report that many things in the garden seem to be doing okay, even with all the rain, but I don’t know what the hell they are. The carrots were so weedy, so it felt good to get them cleaned up, because you could really see a difference. I planted three different kinds of watermelon, but only one kind has sprouted and only a very, very few of them. So, rather than thinning them and disgarding the “excess,” I carefully scooped them up and spread them out some. I don’t know if you can actually transplant watermelon, but we’re going to see.
Mrs. Wigglebottom came out to show me how pitbulls weed. I thought I would share her tips with you.
1. Be sure to trample the peppers. This shows them who’s boss and makes it clear to them that they should shape the hell up.
2. Leap over the tomatoes. Repeatedly. Best leap wins.
3. Whenever possible, lay in the carrots, while the bald ape is trying to weed them.
4. When the bald ape starts yelling, run around in large circles, straight through the watermelon.
5. Garden weeds cannot live in the creek, so if you hang out in the creek, you will have no weeding to do!
6. When the bald ape gets tired of yelling your name, and is reduced to a lump on the grass, run over and lick her face.
Ta da! Your job is done.
The okra didn’t come up, but I found the rest of my seeds, so I replanted. Half the herbs I planted didn’t come up, but it looks like I’ll have basil and something else, so that’s about all a person can ask for. And there were so many worms in the garden! Big fat worms all slinking around.
I’ll tell you what, though. Weeding the garden leads a person to respect weeds. The amount of deep rooted things I pulled out, things that seemed like separate plants up top but were attached to some kind of long tuber, or wild strawberries that shot out runners, makes me really appreciate how well-adapted they are to surviving, no matter what. I feel confident that the things I got out by the roots will not be coming back, but what about the things that just broke off? Clearly, I will be fighting them again.
I know it’s corny, but when I’m out there watching the worms and examining the weeds and feeling the cold wet dirt on my butt, while the dog splashes in the creek, I want to be able to do that for the rest of my life.
As a side note, I want to say how hard it is to type this post, since the tiny cat, who normally does not like to even be touched, has decided that the best spot in the house, is sitting right on my tits. I can barely see over her. And yet, she never has been the kind of cat who wanted to hang out and sit on me, so I’m loathe to move her.
Anyway, that’s what’s going on in my garden. What’s going on in yours?
Oh, and I forgot to say that the marigolds have also come up. I don’t know how we’ll know if they’ve improved the garden, but, as of yet, I see no signs of anyone snacking out there.
Edited to add: I forgot to tell you the most exciting thing! I would ask all of you Louisianans to look away just for a second because I can’t stand it if you laugh at me. But last night I learned what filé, as in “Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo /’Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio /Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o /Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou”, is! It’s just dried, ground-up sassafras leaves. So, fuck you, okra, if you don’t come up. I’ll just have filé gumbo instead.