May 20 ~
Right now, my previous "panic" has now settled into a more positive "I CAN do this" mode even though there is so much more to do. Also, every inch of me aches after my gardening muscles had their winter's vacation. But, everything is beginning to look nice and I have learned to pace myself, as I re-learn every year. I should not overly complain, though, because much of the work the "needs" to get done...could have been accomplished already......if only I didn't know so much!!
Instead of barreling through with my various mowers, weedeaters, tillers and loppers, I am constantly stopping and wondering whether to gather that little bit of garlic mustard--even though there is plenty frozen/pestoed/vinegared. Should I move every single mullein I find in an inopportune place, or mow around it for now and make some medicine when the time is right (but making mowing for several months a real chore...and one only I can do since I would never trust anyone else with such a task!). What about all that chickweed?!?!?!?--Sure would make a great salad base tonight and tincture tomorrow....and I need some for oil and salve making too--so I better gather quite a bit...especially since it is not always so bountiful as it is this year. Have to let the milkweed grow--it's flowers have the most delightful aroma, the monarchs need them, I need them for athlete's foot medicine...a friend made great pickled milkweed sprouts once...and my grandson loves playing with the pods in the Fall.
So, even though I am getting the grounds under control, it is really far from tamed. I take out baskets to gather--one for medicines, one for foods. I stop and start with the mowing--more pondering than mowing. A month from now, those mullein I left standing will have grown taller than me and be there daily to greet me when I go outside, the chickweed will be in jars of oil or vodka awaiting use for various health complaints, the milkweed sap will be my ally for my yearly bout with athlete's foot and the bees will be hanging off of their flowers......
When I was young and knew little of the wonders of so many plants, I mowed, walking back and forth behind the mower, feeling very pleased with the tidy end results. I pruned shrubs and trees to uniform neatness, threw all the weeds pulled from the garden into a heap. I was very efficient and had much more free time. But....this is better, panic or no...constant questioning and adjustment to the chaos of whatever I find growing on any particular day......a much more satisfying bliss.