News and Tribune


May 3, 2013

STAWAR: The garden of weedin’

This is not a good time of the year to plan any kind of event in Southern Indiana, since a lot of folks are much too busy with their gardening to do much of anything else. 

At our house, actual gardening is limited to filling up a few flower pots around the yard and some window boxes in front of the house. When you buy a home, you think window boxes are just a nice amenity, but you quickly realize that what you have really done is bought yourself one more job each year. You have to plant them, since an empty window box is a public indictment of your lack of ambition. 

Looking around our yard, it’s obvious that we have richly benefited from generations of women who tended our property in the past. Over the years, they’ve planted a host of perennials that don’t require attention from us. Irises, peonies, daffodils, forsythia, snowballs, lilies of the valley, amaryllis and poppies are all there. 

Sure, most of the surviving irises are now white, since we’ve never dug them up and divided them or planted new ones. Nevertheless they’re rather elegant in their ghostly way. I hear that the white irises are the most hardy and eventually supplant the other colors if you don’t tend to them 

The various moles, voles and other critters in the yard are always chomping on the underground bulbs. They also move them around so much that you never know what’s going to pop up anywhere. The man who cuts our grass is sort of appalled by all the molehills , but we’ve grown accustomed to them. They get pretty muddy in the rain and can be a slipping hazard, as my wife Diane recently learned the hard way. 

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