July 15, 2004

Naturally delicious

We've really let our front garden go to hell in the last few months. The sage has gone feral; it sits on the sidewalk hissing and menacing passersby. It's been trying to mark the neighbor's yard as its territory, and will probably succeed soon if not re-tamed. We hacked out some brush last year to let the rosemary have some breathing room, but now it and its sneaky purple-flowered friend are making moves on the lavender bushes with their creeping tendril things. Not that the lavender is entirely blameless, mind you, not when it's eaten up one gazania and is already reaching for the others.

The backyard's no polite tea-party either, of course. The nasturtiums are creeping over from next door and squeezing through the fence. They would stay out if the ivy would only stick to the fence, but the ivy can't be bothered to stick when it can stretch out across the ground and head for the grass instead. Perhaps it could take a lesson from the blackberry vines, which are happy to stick to the apricot tree, the cottage roof, Katie's sweet peas, the other fence, that spiky plant with the red flowers, and the obscene potato-sunflower union going on in the brick planter. I was hoping to get the suntatos into therapy to get them straightened out as soon as possible, but maybe we should give the whole thing up and just grow a bumper crop of blackberry brambles instead.

In defiance of such fatalism, Jacob and I spent an hour on Tuesday evening planting iceplant and festuca, digging out the ghosts of garbanzos past, and battling back the invading sage forces with clippers (because in the absence of a good sharp broadsword you have to use whatever weapon you can find). The front yard is looking much better already, but I'm paying the price in mosquito bites. I counted five this morning, all itching like crazy. It was only last week that my bites from the Trinity trip stopped itching, and now this? Apparently I'm the fancy feast of choice for the discerning mosquito, and now everybody from here to the Oregon border knows it.

It's nice to be appreciated, but couldn't they just send flowers next time?

Posted by dianna at July 15, 2004 11:02 AM

you've got to watch out for that iceplant shit, it'll go a runner on you. monster, i tell you.

("it'll go a runner on you" is not a phrase, is it? i think i'm absconding with "it'll do a number on you" and fucking shit up.)

Posted by: michele at July 15, 2004 11:14 AM

Bah. I can take it on any day. I've been handling iceplant since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Besides, between our negligence and the evil horrible invadey sage, we need to put in plants that can hold their own and are impossible to kill.

Makes a great firebreak, too.

Posted by: Dianna at July 15, 2004 11:31 AM

I vote that you burn the sage down where it stands effectively "smudging" the bad vibes out of said garden.

Posted by: Clint at July 15, 2004 05:28 PM