Getting Down with Gardening

A friend of mine, Charles, jokingly stated that I should write a suburban gothic–a novel about my new life in suburbia.  He even helpfully got things moving along, “The summer morning air was filled with the smell of empanadas and early 80s disco music.”  (Note: neither of these things fill the air where I live, though I do like the occasional empanada.)

While I probably won’t write a suburban gothic, I realized that having my own home is throwing me into a lot of uncharted territory, and perhaps my dumbassery could make for some interesting blog posts.

When Mr. W and I decided to purchase our own home, one of the things I got excited about was having a garden.  I’ve never been very outdoorsy, preferring to interact with mother nature solely by looking at it through windows from a climate-controlled room while sitting on a comfortable chair.  Perhaps while drinking a warm beverage of some kind.

One of the things I enjoy looking are pretty flowers, and, seeing as they don’t manifest miraculously out of thin air and tend themselves, some gardening was definitely in my future.  The house had been vacant for a few months before we moved in.  This basically means two things could be found in abundance: 1.) Bugs, and 2.) Weeds.

Some of those pretty flowers I’m talking about.

I’m not sure if you know this, but weeds are not pretty flowers.  They are ugly and some like to stab your fingers, even though you bought super tough gardening gloves.  Some weeds like to masquerade as legitimate plants, prompting me to send pictures to my mother so that we could play the “Is this a weed? Game”.  The answer, in the case of my yard, is always yes.

I didn’t know that weeds grew berries.

I have had many helpful conversations with my mom relating to gardening, the most recent of which being this:
Mom: “You know what poison ivy looks like, right?”
Me: “Yes.  They have red stems and veins.”
Mom: “Not always.”
Me: “Shiny green leaves?”
Mom: “Not always.  But they always have three leaves.”
Me: [thinks] Practically everything I’m pulling up has three leaves.

So I Googled it.  It would appear that poison ivy looks a lot like the weeds in my backyard.  Though, lots of different weeds do look remarkably similar which is not at all helpful.  Whether it turns out to be poison ivy or not, I am not terribly concerned, because I seem to be one of those people that is not affected by it.  I’ve never had it, and there have been plenty of encounters with it as kid (and over the past three weekends, if that is indeed what some of my weed jungle is comprised of).

But either way, it is probably a good thing to know about.  Next perhaps I will learn what poison oak is.  Oh oh, or Mr. W and I could tackle the wasp nest that is slowly forming in a window corner.  That should be interesting.

What do you think?