Sunday, November 4, 2007

Killing Fields

I'd generally thought gardening was all about growing things. And patience.

I like growing things. I need more patience. Win/win, yes?

I'm finally accepting gardening is also about taking things that are growing, and stopping them from doing that. Killing them, to be precise.

After spending hours (and hours) yanking up volunteer loquat trees by the roots out from under the parent trees, I'd told my husband I felt like an ogress.

I was a fantastically giant monstress coming in to wreak havoc on all the little innocent creatures in her path. Think King Kong smashing through downtown Tokyo, only with hat and gloves, tending towards more specified results.

As I've been clearing this swath of ground under our intentionally planted loquats I did my best to balance the loss of life I participated in.

I gave as many loquat tree saplings away to folks as I could, including this variegated beauty. Behind it in this photo you can see ranks of saplings yet to be pulled. The germination rate of loquat fruit must be close to 100 percent. I know as careful I as will be to clear the area, there will eventually always be more starts peeking out.

Which is almost reassuring.

It feels unsettling to be gardening by purposefully taking away - rather than adding in.

Balance. I guess it all comes down to balance. There are only so many resources available and whatever is allowed to remain competes for those. As I gain experience to understand what to plant and where, the survival rates go up, and what stays and what goes is mostly up to me. At least behind the fence where the deer aren't able to do their own freelance landscaping overnight.

Gardening ain't for sissies.

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Rollingwood, Central Texas
Family historian by default. Oldest surviving matriarch on my branch of the Family Tree. Story teller, photo taker, gardener, cook, blabbermouth.