A code word given by nurses following back surgery nearly two years ago was supposedly an easy to remember warning to lift appropriately, to bend at the knees, not at the waist. I’m afraid I’m not a good student, and besides, who else is there on the premises to bend to pluck the many hundreds, thousands of tiny weeds that pop up each week?
And, while I’m overjoyed by the regular rainfall this late spring, there is likely to be a formula for some quantity of weeds per inch of rain. However many thousands it is, it’s now times ten in the past few weeks, with another few inches expected. I’m astounded that the garden is not a soggier mess than it is, but surprisingly I can get around to most of it without sinking up to my ankles.
The tiny Tiger mosquitoes are out in full force, and dragonflies are working overtime to patrol their territories by the koi pond. There have been frequent snake sightings in recent days. One or more Northern Brown water snakes are seen whenever the sun is shining. A week ago, two youngsters, not the big one that has not been seen for a while, were seen in the shallows of the pond doing that thing that results in the next generation of Northern Browns in this pond. I don’t know if I should apologize for snooping, but I was quickly discovered hiding behind the ‘Butterfly’ Japanese maple. The session ended in a hurry.
As the weather warms, the koi are becoming more trusting, I suppose more due to hunger than overcoming wariness over lurking predators. Several years ago, dozens of koi would flop onto the rocks at the pond’s edge as I approached, but blue and green herons and the snakes have made them more cautious. Long ago, it became impossible to count the number of koi (and a handful of goldfish), but there must be a hundred or more, and I haven’t seen this year’s newcomers, though certainly they’re on the way.
At some point there will be too many koi for this fourteen hundred square foot pond, and late in autumn I was forced to upgrade the filtration. It pained me to spend the money, but today I’m pleased that the water is clearing.
The key to maintaining this acre and a quarter garden is, a little at a time. At times, the task seems overwhelming, and the garden a near disaster, though I’m comforted knowing that there are others that are worse. There is no help, unless you agree that my wife’s meddling with her pruners is helpful. Come on, bend at the knees, pull those weeds.