July 7, 2013

KNISELY: Gardens gone wild


---- — Unless it involves a corner booth and an old friend, playing catch-up is rarely fun. That holds especially true in the garden. Like most things, I learned that the hard way.

When I moved into my new house, I decided having a garden would be a lovely idea. So I hit the greenhouse and then got to planting. Well, I guess I should say I bought the plants and then had to find the time over the next few days to actually get them all planted. That should have been a sign that I don't have time to devote to a garden, but alas, I didn't see it.

Despite the birds and the bunnies who ravaged the strawberry and broccoli plants, the garden started growing — and so did the weeds. A lot of weeds. Weeds on steroids. More weeds than I think I've ever seen. I kept saying to myself, "I'll get out there tomorrow and start weeding before it gets too out of control." Ahh, the lies we tell ourselves.

Another couple days passed and the internal dialogue changed to, "No really, Knisely. You will make the time tomorrow to weed. The neighbors are going to complain soon."

But then the next day, as always, I worked late, or met a friend for dinner, or had to mow instead, or decided it was just too hot to be out weeding in the garden. There's always some sort of reason (or I bet you could easily say excuse) as to why I didn't get the weeding done. But whatever the reason, it wasn't getting done.

So finally I decided to suck it up and hit the garden to play catch-up.

As anyone who's done any gardening at all knows, weeding is something best done regularly. It's when you wait until the situation might draw the attention of the Department of Homeland Security that things get a little hairy. Determined anyway, I grabbed my gloves, a box for the weeds and a hoe.

Despite all these tools, I was somehow still unprepared for the battle that awaited me.

Onlookers might have thought they were watching a battle of wills play out. Until this game of catch-up I backed myself into, I was unaware that weeds have wills. But let me assure you they most certainly do.

I was quickly becoming convinced the weeds were multiplying as I made my way through the garden. After having spent a ridiculous amount of time in too small of an area trying to remove a mountain of weeds, I looked back and saw a few more weeds. A sane person would assume she missed a few weeds, but between the sweat and sun, I was convinced they were replanting themselves when my back was turned.

Several hours later, the garden looked good as new, and I was promising the plants I wouldn't stay away so long the next time. As I returned from putting the tools away, a bunny stood in the freshly groomed garden enjoying a nice snack of buttercrunch lettuce with little concern of my presence. I got the hoe back out and chased it away.

Why they haven't yet made genetically modified bunnies that eat weeds instead of lettuce and broccoli plants I'll never understand.

Misty Knisely is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5155 or at