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Embracing the Spring Ritual: Weeding the Garden.

Spring, with its promise of new beginnings, beckons us to step outside and reconnect with nature🌸.

Following a rather soggy start to spring, the sun has finally decided to poke its head out from its cloudy hideout and spread a little warmth upon the damp earth. There is a palpable sense of renewal in the air, and as I step into the garden, the first thing that catches my eye is the sudden invasion of weeds, they have waited below the surface during the winter months and now the sun has signalled its time for them to march. And march they have, they weave among the delicate shoots of my plants, competing for sunshine and nutrients, threatening to overrun the garden before my plants can even unfurl a leaf. 🍃

Every year I vow to keep on top of the weeds before they become so monstrous that I debate whether it is even a battle worth starting. However, I venture out armed with gloves and a sturdy garden fork, ready to engage the enemy and attempt to restore balance to my little corner of the world. There's something incredibly satisfying about the rhythmic motion of pulling weeds from the soil. Each tug is a small victory, a reclaiming of space for my plants. And as I work, I can smell the fresh, damp earth and the fragrance of plants such as the Nepeta as I brush past, I am lost in the simple act of being present in the moment.

I marvel at the resilience of these plants, as much as they are the bane of my gardening life, I do appreciate that weeds are still plants, and their ability to adapt and thrive in the harshest of environments is admirable. Why is it though that nature designed weeds to be unpalatable to rabbits and yet any plant I choose for the garden appears to be delicious and irresistible to them🐰

Even as the nettles sting me through my gloves and elicit a few unsavoury utterances from my mouth, I remember that these wands of torture also bring countless butterflies to the garden – and one day I may even harvest them to make soup…maybe! Some of the flowers in my garden are technically weeds, the flame orange Crocosmia, rosy, pink Ragged Robin, wild lilac Foxglove and the sunny yellow Lysimachia/Loosestrife. Does this preference for aesthetics make me a shallow person? Only the visually pleasing flora are allowed to remain?

Weeding is a physical task, and my back always reminds me of this after a day spent in the garden. It is also a lesson in mindfulness and patience, it forces me to slow down. And as I relax with a little glass of gardener’s tonic🍷, I understand the battle against weeds is never won, yet I take solace in the knowledge that soon I will be rewarded as the garden begins to burst into colour once more.