Sunday, July 5, 2009

life on Mars...

When I was a kid, I asked my dad one time what was the difference between a weed and a garden plant, and his succinct answer was this, " A weed is any plant growing where I don't want it." So by his definition, a beautiful rose bush growing uninvited in a field of cucumbers, is a weed.

As every gardener knows, weeds are the bane of our existence, there is no plant more resilient than the humble garden weed. Be it a dandelion, or a sunflower, if it is growing where you don't want it, it's gonna be persistent and nearly impossible to get rid of. Yet try to get the things that you want to grow to take hold in the same fashion and you will have better luck trying to stuff a wet noodle in a stray cats ass. I have seen sunflowers growing wild, and I can say that some of the wild ones are better by far than half of the cultivated ones I have seen. Yet, try as I might, when I want sunflowers to grow wild I can barely get three or four to make an effort.

If you have ever owned a bird feeder, you know just how easy sunflowers will grow, all they need is moisture and some sunny days and they are sprouting away left and right. You can mow them down all summer long, yet they keep trying. The birds and squirrels will drag those damn seeds everywhere, and they will try to grow. Yet if you plant 20 in a row, you get 6. What the hell? !

Sunflowers are just an example, but it is the weeds that I am concerned with today. I have weeds that are so hardy that they stand up to everything I throw at them. I have hit them with high-end weed killer, I have burned them, tilled them, hoed them and weed preventer-ed them yet they come back again and again. I get more than my daily exercise pulling weeds, and hoeing and cultivating the garden, trying to keep it looking fairly presentable. I get one area cleaned up, move on to the next and 2 days later the original has the pale green haze of weeds showing again! They grow in the dry season, they grow in the wet season, and they grow past the frost and before the thaw! If NASA wants to see if Mars can support life, I will give them a couple shovels of dirt from my garden and they can plop it onto Mars and watch it go! I bet them weeds will even grow on Mars!

You want to find out if there is life on Mars, give them some good old New York weeds to deal with and we may actually end up with our first interplanetary war. The Martians will be pissed, beause they will never be rid of them weeds once they get a foot hold. But the kicker of the whole damn thing is this, some of the blooms on the weeds, are prettier than the flowers I have planted. So I may use some reverse psychology on the weeds and try to grow a few rows of them for the blooms! You think they will actually grow?

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