On a sunny Sunday morning I look out over my garden, pleased by the green sight that greets me. Elated by the progress of my garden, I decide to stroll through basking in the beauty of it all.
Suffice it to say, the reality was quite a different matter. Green it was, but flourishing would be an overstatement. The pleasing colour is the attribute of invaders so tall they appear as plants from afar. They are stifling the plants I had been nurturing. Quickly my elation bred despondence in its place. How was this possible?
I remember noticing a few weeds popping up only a few weeks ago. Small little plants I did not pay much attention too. Besides, I was way too busy with important matters. They were not a threat. I would deal with them in due course. Little did I know that these buggers do not care much for roots. These ambitious little gremlins are results driven folk. Similar to sales people I suppose.
Once they touch ground, the principle is this: grow only the roots necessary to provide enough sustenance to fuel the expansion. Reach maturity in as short a time as possible and produce seeds to duplicate and expand the efforts. It is a powerful message that they execute with staggering efficiency. Not a week and they have spout seeds over the rest of the garden taking root in every area not covered by vegetation.
It has been three weeks since I paid attention to my garden; you can imagine the exponential effect this has had. Those original infiltrators had become behemoth seed producing monstrosities polluting every open piece of soil. Selfish little attention mongrels that they are, this rapid expansion did not bode well for the dear inhabitants. Uprooted, stifled, soil polluted with chemicals that kill them from the inside out. My garden was in dire state. All those gains I made over the last 6 months lost in three weeks.
Where did they come from initially? Believe it or not, my neighbours on both sides are not the most avid of gardeners. Their weeds spout seeds which invariably end up in my yard, spreading the disease until someone takes a stand.
The good news is that this acquisition strategy has one fatal flaw. The drive for quick results compromises their capacity to withstand scrutiny. The roots are small and shallow making them easy to uproot.
So today I start, one by one, plucking them out of my soil, ensuring I uproot them completely. First I yank out ‘self-sufficiency’; it has so mutilated my ‘faith’ and ‘intimacy’ that it is barely alive. Next I move to ‘pride’. ‘Pride’ soured the soil around my ’love for others’ and ‘servant heart’ making both welt and throw off their flowers. Finally, I uproot ‘masked animosity’ to save my ‘authenticity and openness’.
I will keep a close eye on these sections of my garden to ensure that I got all the bad seed. I realise now that a good gardener does not allow even a single weed to take root. He knows how quickly they multiply and infiltrate below the radar, coming to his attention when it is way too late.