Two years ago I had some wildflower seeds. After carefully plotting and planting a small vegetable garden in my backyard, as I have done most of the years I’ve been living here, I sat on the front porch and literally flung those seeds blindly, behind my head, into the yard. When friends came over, I offered them seeds to free. I thought it was rather communal and romantic. It was a little rebellious too, and you’d know what I mean if you saw what I’ve always deemed painfully manicured lawns in my vicinity, tortured as they’ve been into submission. At the time I was having some work done on my house by a neighbor’s brother-in-law. They’re from Bangladesh. He’d been coming over every day to work on the house. I’d make him lunch. He’d ask me if I had any friends he could marry. He offered good money. (I’m not making it up). He also asked me to stash his bottle of brandy in my cupboard because his sister-in-law wouldn’t allow it. Of course I said yes. So he was getting kind of comfortable around here. One day I came home and saw that he had chopped down and uprooted the many various “weeds” in my yard. He expected a thank you. My manners kept me from giving him a different kind of ___ you. I was livid. Little did he know, and not at all did he understand, that I had been carefully un-gardening my lawn for many years.
And I liked it that way. But change is the big constant.
Although at the time I was enraged on many levels for the many reasons what he’d done was wrong, I am glad now that what he left was a bald lawn that I viewed as so violated, I had to start over. I’ve now taken the front half of my yard and combed it through and through, ridding it of the onions that I have researched, determined and confirmed should not be welcome back. I’ve spaced out my eleven-year old hostas. I interspersed daylillies hand-delivered from Wisconsin. I planted some johnny-jump-ups. And I have grounded my native plants, and are watching them all carefully to see what they do, and whether they feel at home. I’ve put jasmine by the front door, and have thyme brimming from the planters on the front steps. I may not get to the whole front yard in the next few months, but that’s okay too. My friend in Red Hook says it’ll be good gardening weather this year. I have plenty this summer for my hands to do. Moderation being the key, I may keep on hand some seeds to fling.