Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Morality of Weeding

Yesterday was a very domestic day. I got out and worked in the garden for an hour or so in the morning, pulling clumps of weeds and unruly grass out of our iris and euphorbia beds. Am I the only one who has an internal ethical debate about weeding? I hate the fact that I'm killing all these plants, not to mention unseen bugs and snails and whatnot, but at the same time the garden looks so much better when it's weeded. And our own plants will be healthier, right? So I guess it has to be done.

I am trying to walk a middle path -- I want the garden weeded, but it doesn't have to be pristine and we will not resort to chemicals.

Ugh. I really am so exhausting, with all my moral dilemmas. I exhaust even myself.

Anyway, later in the day, after I'd done this work, a gardener showed up next door to work on our neighbor's yard. So Dave and I asked him to come over and survey ours, and tell us how much he would charge to tame the jungle, bringing it to a point where we just need to maintain it. We haven't received his estimate yet, but if the price is right we may take that route. Is that a moral solution -- pay someone to kill the weeds and bugs?!

We had quiche and fruit salad for lunch, left over from our Bastille Day dinner on the patio Monday evening. (Dave read that the French celebrate Bastille Day with outdoor picnics, so we attempted to join in.) Dave is still cooking more vegetarian fare, for which I am thankful. He barbecued steaks last night, though, and I must say they were terrific.

Yesterday afternoon we completed our move-in inventory. Before we moved in, the landlord had an inspector walk through the apartment and note every scratch, every nail hole, every chip to every fixture and piece of woodwork. We had to point out any discrepancies, to accurately record the condition of the place when we took occupancy. So we combed each room and made our own list, where it differed from the inspector's. The process took more than an hour and the persnickety little details were enough to drive us crazy. ("He says there are four nail holes in this wall, but I count five.")

Olga has developed a habit of streaking out the back door (particularly when she sees a squirrel in the yard) and leaping through the flower bed that Dave just planted. She has already inflicted some damage on our new verbena and lavender. Needless to say, this has not gone over well, but I'm not sure how to stop it. I think we may simply need to allow her to pave her own path through the garden.

(Photo: The couches and end tables we bought from the previous tenants, who were our coworkers. We get very interesting light in the evenings!)


mary i said...

The most interesting light,for sure.It is enhanced by the Lava Lamp which made me smile,before coffee! :) I am also a love to plant dislike weeding sorta gal.Here in the South one has to do it or get taken over.Let the Pro help y'all out it will give you a stage to work from.

Ms. Moon said...

I agree with mary i. If you get it all sorted out, it will be that much easier to maintain. And you know- a garden has to work for all involved and that will include Olga. If you fight her on the beds, she will become as frustrated as you. A little border-fencing? I don't know.
But enjoy it as much as you can.

Sharon said...

That couch looks very comfy and I like all the light in the room.
I have terrible luck with plants so I admire anyone who can grow things.

Linda Sue said...

I know that weeding dilemma. the weeds where we live are so beautiful.I thin that I would appoint Olga as the decider. Mostly because she is focused on other things and it would be no problem for her.Would love to tap into the amount of energy you have!

Elizabeth said...

The photo shows a very peaceful home, for sure. And I look forward to seeing your garden in progress -- out here in Los Angeles, everyone has a gardener which is so weird. I confess that it's quite nice, though -- I get to do the sort of gardening I like to do and he does the rest.

37paddington said...

That is beautiful light in your living area. How nice to get such good light on the far end of the day. Does that mean you're facing west? I always get confused.

As for your weeding dilemma, I say pay the man to get the garden to a place where you can maintain it, and then you can have one of those cared for but sort of intentionally wild gardens that Olga can frolic in to her heart's content.

Olga hit the family jackpot with you two, and now she has her own garden too! Nice.

ellen abbott said...

I trained my dog to stay out of the flower beds by initially putting up a small fence around it, like maybe 12" high. once she made her own acceptable paths, I could take it down. I've also used stakes and string, maybe three rows of string which creates if not a visible barrier, a physical one. it was usually enough. but I also didn't put flower beds in places where I knew she would want to run like across the front fence line in the yard. I don't worry about weeds. they grow aplenty everywhere. I just tell them they are being greedy and they cannot stay in the flower beds.