The mantra last week was shearing, shearing, shearing. The mantra this week has been weeding, weeding, weeding. Full days of weeding in the full sun are a killer. I feel like I shouldn’t even mention weeds, right? In a perfect world they wouldn’t be in the garden. Some people say that a weed is only a plant out of place, or that there’s no such thing as a weed. I beg to differ.
Anyone looking at their planting beds right now is cursing the periodic thunderstorms followed by toasty days of sunshine. It’s an absolute paradise for weeds of all shapes, sizes and root structures. Weed season is upon us at Shofuso, but that’s ok. I don’t resort to chemical weed killers unless it’s an extreme circumstance, and even then I take the time to carefully paint herbicides onto targeted weeds. One in particular that I’m struggling with is bindweed (field bindweed, wild morning glory). And please don’t let the flower fool you. This noxious weed produces seeds that can potentially stay dormant for 20+ years! It is relentless and will climb and bind around anything it can grab. I’ve been cutting the vines back and painting the cut ends with glyphosphate. I’m hoping to suppress the issue before it gets too out of hand. If it doesn’t work, I’ll just have to station a volunteer on bindweed duty until the end of days (If anyone is looking for that job feel free to send
me an email:firstname.lastname@example.org).
Every gardener gets to share in the joy of weeding, and right now is heavily my time. My weapon of choice is the hori-hori knife. It slices, dices, digs, and cuts. It’s an all around great tool that every gardener should have, and I use mine a lot while I’m weeding. My second in command is the dandelion weeder. It’s good for use on its namesake, but I especially use it for small weeds in the moss. I’ll fit the pronged end around the base of the weed and slowly pull the weed with my fingertips while holding the moss down with the tool. I do this as to not disturb the moss, but still get the roots of the weed. If the weeds are large enough, I can use my hand instead to brace the moss against me pulling the weeds out.
But enough about the weeds. You’re not supposed to know that they exist anyway. There are way better things to come see in the gardens at the Japanese House. You can leave seeing the weeds up to me.