|Pokeweed's redness made me think it was red-root pigweed at first,|
but the flowers and berries gave it away.
Our latest rains proved the efficacy of rain. Yesterday I emptied the rain-barrels for the second time on favorite and needy plants, and the thunderstorm struck like a District President's tantrum. Boom. The satellite TV went out. The rain poured off the roof, making it look like we were peering out from behind Niagara Falls. The four barrels, four paint-buckets, wastebasket, and wheelbarrow filled with rain quickly.
Weeds are lush and spreading.
The weeds love the heavy rains. Pokeweed is my favorite, growing up to nine feet tall with long branches and red berries. Like Fireweed, it can grow in the cracks of a sidewalk and bloom. But given good soil, mulch and rain, both become gigantic in size and productive in flowers and seeds.
The flowers and crops we enjoy cannot be grown between sidewalk segments, but the weeds can. Likewise, sound doctrine requires attention and care, but false doctrine grows everywhere, flourishing where conditions are perfect for the Gospel.
I haul water like a peasant, because I want the rainwater on the new roses. The Rugosa roses are leafing out and the replacement hybrid tea roses are trying to get established. The hardiest roses are quick to respond while the royal hybrid tea roses take their time.
I use the paintbuckets for carrying water now. They fill quickly from the rain and I can dip them in the rain-barrels for refills. When I carry one at a time, I think of my Aunt Grace on the farm, hauling various things in a heavy bucket, her left arm extended for balance. She had the perfect first name for a person full of kindness and warmth, always smiling. I was just a little kid on the farm, but I pushed the lawnmower for her, which earned me a popsickle and a fudgesickle one hot summer day. I was easily motivated by such treats.
|These berries are delicious for birds, toxic to us,|
but the leaves can be boiled for poke salad.
I am not the least tempted.
I am fond of Pokeweed for providing another food source for the birds, one I can easily stop when growing in the wrong place. The tall weeds with the deep taproots can be cut at the base and used for compost or mulch.
Bermuda grass will spread through roots, stolens, and - rooting its tips in the soil for another infestation, another center of influence. They love rain.
Blackberries spread like Bermuda grass, but with a difference. Blackberries can grow new roots and plants by holding the tip against the soil, and the plant will spread through its roots. But everyone loves blackberries. Mine are thornless so their only deficiency is their appeal to predatory squirrels.
God willing and the clouds holding back the rain, we will mulch the latest outbreak of grassy weeds in the rose gardens, front and back.
Our helper said the other day, "This is so beautiful here, and it took a lot of backbreaking work to get it this way." The work continues, but the labor is rewarding. Yesterday a hand-written note arrived in the mail, thanking us for the weekly rose bouquet's in the chiropractor's office. The patients love the variety and the fragrances of the roses. The receptionist added, "We enjoy the look on their faces when we tell them how many roses you have."