Revenge of The Runners, Other Gardening Mayhem and Adventure

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    I didn’t even give it a second thought, or at least not much of one, after all that’s how it goes with even the most innocent of questions framed as “you shoulds”. That, and I don’t own the property where I live, so it was for all essential purposes a no-brainer.

    Are you going to make your garden larger this year?
    Easy enough.

    Later that week it came back to haunt me like leaf miner bugs chowing (and otherwise mating) on my spinach plants the last two years. I don’t have to necessarily make it larger, but a few extra inches more…it couldn’t hurt.

    Famous last words. Just 3 words, but oh so ill-laden with all sorts of complications, struggles greater than the strength my barely 5-foot frame can take on, and shock and angst. Oh, yeah, and several Humble Pies along the way.

    So there I was three years ago one morning under the great Intermountain West’s sun, pulling up and back on the grass on the three sides of my garden crowned with the green stuff, trying to get to their roots in the process, too. Sure, it took several days of working at it, but I felt a great sense of accomplishment in my progress, and the rest of that year’s garden season went smashingly well. A couple of inches on those three sides of my garden worked well.

    Two years ago, with the advent of garden season upon me, I went outside to gather my new season’s thoughts and mull over my garden notebook with last year’s notes for review. It was a beautiful morning, and with a hot cup of tea in hand, and my less-than-a-year old kitten smushed up to the screen in its back-bedroom windows facing my garden mewing like he’s been gypped because I’m outside and he’s not. I surveyed my little garden space and there they were. Unsightly, little blobs of green shoots, the likes of which I haven’t seen in my garden plot since one of my neighbors was extremely kind enough to til up with his eating machine, otherwise known as a ground tiller. Thinking it was a one-time thing, another trio of famous last words, I pulled out my garden supplies and set to work and over 2 days got my garden weeded and ready for the new season.

    So went my weeding for the rest of that summer. Tedious, annoying sights they were, there was no making them go away no matter how frequently I pulled them back up as close to their roots and all. Along the way, I discovered the new grass blobs were coming from what looked a lot like grass runners, spawned by the grass at the three edges of my garden. I’d pull up a blob, find the runner, pull it back to the grassy edges of my garden to no avail. They kept coming back!

    After my last weeding session of garden season 2016, I hoped I’d seen the last of those dratted things. They were like an ongoing belated trial by fire from my garden for having done so well since taking gardening back up in 2013 after years of not gardening. Hope? Yep. Another one of those famous last words in garden problems like what I experienced in season 2016.

    Again, another garden season rolls, and I’ll be danged if those green grass blobs weren’t back, but with a vengeance! NO! I refused to cave in and let my chin quiver. Standing there that morning, cup of tea in hand, just thinking. My cat sitting in the back window up against the screens, eyeballing the birds in the trees, all of which seemed to be bickering or sharing bets on who or what would give up first –me or the grass and its runners. Even the box elder bugs stopped dead their journeys across my bathroom screen to mate & hide their eggs in the little squares. If this were in one of those old black and white westerns, me and those runner-fueled grass blobs would have been facing off in the town square with that show-down music playing while we stared each other down to see who’d draw first.

    Well, obviously, the grass runners drew first, but I wasn’t giving up for anything. I remained undeterred, refusing to be fazed by the return of the runners and their evil spawns!

    And there went garden season 2017 into the ether of garden seasons gone by, with annotations in my annual garden notebook. That said, on a foot note here, if grass had the human ability to laugh -it wouldn’t. It would only cackle, yes like the wicked witch of the west back from the dead. When the season was over in mid-autumn, I found myself wistfully wishing the revenge of the grass runners was finally spent.

    Yep, more famous last words.

    And thus begins garden season 2018, empty tea cup on my kitchen counter in resignation. My first weeding session was an absolute nightmare but I won that battle! If there ever were a more fitting song than Ted Lewis’ dance song of my grandparents’ generation to rephrase, I can’t think of one. I’ll call it Me and My Runners.

    However, its lyrics would have to be written by the likes of Stephen King. I’m just not objective enough. Yet. I shall triumph!

    Famous last words?


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