Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Adventures in Craziness, Part 1: Landscaping Woes

Normally I think my self-awareness is pretty accurate.  But every so often I’ll do something, or fail to do something, or mention that I did something, and one of my best friends will give me this look like, “I can’t believe—what?  What is wrong with you?  Who does that?”

And then I think, “Yikes.  Am I that crazy lady after all?”

Case in point:

I have these plants in my front yard that look like massive ferns.  They have taken over the original landscaping with a vengeance and have grown to near Seymour-esque proportions, to the point that they block clear passage to the front door.  I was away for much of the summer, so I didn’t notice how bad the situation had gotten until a week after I returned home, when I realized that the habit I’d developed of absently pushing the eager plant aside like the swinging front gate of a leafy picket fence wasn’t normal and that every day must be like a new episode of “Postman Pat and the Man-Eating Plant” for my poor small-town mail carrier.

So I just cut the plants down, right?


Here’s the thing.  I learned *just* enough about invasive species in college to have developed the general sense that the way they propagate is by aggressive regeneration in the face of any challenge to their existence.  So in my head, this has translated to the following: the SECOND I attempt to cut down even the smallest piece of this massive fern, I will experience the organic equivalent of touching one of the treasures in Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault: the plant will begin to reproduce uncontrollably and instead of one inconvenient branch to push aside, I will have a jungle of rabid ferns in the place of my slightly shabby but reasonably manicured little lawn.

This is obviously not ideal.  Nor, I doubt, is it realistic—at least to the degree of hyperbole that exists in my imagination.  However, as I appear to have only retained the overexaggerated information about the dramatic consequences of invasive species control without any of the useful facts about appropriate means of combating these tendencies, I’m not sure where the fable ends and reality begins.

As a stop-gap measure, one innovative friend suggested that I simply tie the offending branches back until I could find a more suitable solution.  This struck me as the perfect answer to my landscaping troubles, and I came up with a neat solution to what to use as an article of restraint: I used the red plastic wrappers from the unwanted town newspapers that are delivered weekly to my house to keep the branches in line.  So ingenious!  Environmentally friendly too!  And what it lacks in aesthetic value it more than makes up for in its minimal requirements for hard physical labor during my precious weekend hours!

So this “temporary” solution has been working fine for me for about a month now, and although I don’t know about Postman Pat, I’m pretty sure that I could have gone on blithely skirting the plant as it slowly re-encroached upon the path despite its festive red plastic ties for the forseeable future if it hadn’t been for another one of the aforementioned best friends who, after having listened to my long-winded, descriptions of the potentially apocalyptic consequences of taking actual steps to remove the ferns on several occasions, finally lost her patience last night.  Laden with bags, she swatted irritably at the branch as it bobbed gently across the path and exclaimed,

“Hydra head or not, this thing has to go!”

So…anyone know of a green-thumbed Hercules near Stars Hollow?


  1. While you were at church, I dispatched the plant. It had to be done. Awesomesauce helped.

  2. Awesomesauce just showed me this quote from EaP: "It is an easy task to go into the garden and take off the tops of the weeds growing there. One may even be able to make a beautiful garden by so doing--beautiful for a time, at least. But alas, the weeds grow again when the gardener has been called away, and finally, our once-beautiful plot becomes unsightly with the coarse leaves and thick stems of the burdock, plantain, and thistle." (17) And man-eating fern.

    It does look a lot nicer, though...