The Reluctant Gardener Confesses: Why I Love Weeding

I’ve shared my reluctance to garden as a child and my struggles to believe that things I plant will actually grow. But today I confess something that just adds to the mountain of existing evidence that I am nuts: I love weeding.

As someone who hates to clean my house, it seems weird that my favorite yard activity is actually a form of de-cluttering. I’m still trying to figure out why this is. But I think I understand why, compared to all the other things that need to be done in the yard, my first choice is to weed.beforeAfterWeeds

Most gardening activities require waiting. Plant seeds and wait. Water, wait. Fertilize. Wait. Boring! I like results that are obvious and immediate, and weeding fits the bill.

So does spring yard clean up. When I’m not pulling up weeds, I’m cutting away last year’s perennials or removing dead limbs from our bushes. No matter how little time I have to spend, the area I work on always looks better when I am done and the improvement gives me great satisfaction.

The roses always look better after pruning.
The roses always look better after pruning.

Last week, my husband bought a gardening tool at our local nursery. It’s called Grampa’s Weeder and looks so simple, it’s easy to underestimate its power. I scoffed at first. I didn’t need help pulling weeds; I’m already a weeding machine. But a few minutes with this amazing tool turned me from an enthusiastic weeder into a compulsive one. I swear, I can’t stop. Just writing about it makes me want to run outside and get to work.

Warning: The next paragraph sounds like an advertisement, but I am not affiliated in any way with the manufacturer. I’m just a satisfied customer.

Grampa’s Weeder uproots weeds with ease, usually with the long root still attached. You can pull up weeds that are in the middle of plantings with minimal disruption to nearby plants. Best of all, you can do it all without bending over. Easy on the back, so you can spend even more time weeding! What could be better?

As I was happily weeding this past weekend, I kept thinking about cleaning the house. Why do I love weeding, but not cleaning? I don’t like mowing, because it’s one of those jobs that’s never done. Mow, turn around, and you have to do it again. Cleaning feels like that to me.

Eventually I realized the real, embarrassing reason I love weeding. It’s destructive. The plants I’m pulling up are supposed to die. I have a black-belt in plant killing. It’s the one yard activity I am confident I can do successfully.

I was born to weed.

Thanks to the new tool, we are actually running out of weeds to pull. I still have a bunch of bushes to clean up, but when those two chores are finally done, I fear my interest in working in the yard will die.

Unless we have weeds in the vegetable beds by then.

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Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

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