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May 23nd 2010    Tim Candler

    Transcending these few remaining weeks before Summer Solstice is an increase in those weeds that are truly beyond salvation.   And here I refer to what I call Portulaca.  There is a version that will bloom in a concrete courtyard where it seems to be quite happy without any sort of regular water.   And there is the variety that grows in more fertile places, where it moves quickly from curious phenomenon to utter bastard.

    There are some who might cannily say "but it is easy to pick and it is gentle".  Not true for an anal retentive attempting to do away with nicotine.  One half milimetre of root and two days later it returns, and this time its attitude contains that rude Bolshevism of the ill-adjusted which I so recognize in myself.   Then, if for some reason during Fall or Spring, the gardener errs on the side of rototilling, Portulaca travels and begins to dominate the realm of unwanted during the first hot days before Creeping Grass finds its roots.  A conjunction that so turns a workers paradise into Gulag .

    The damn stuff is all over the place.  And I have through cruel experience learned the value of removing Portulaca with a trowel.   Nor am I tempted these days to shake off soil from its roots.  Otherwise when the hard Summer comes, the burden of Portulaca can bring further cause for  tears and stamping of feet and the temptation of herbicide that Creeping Grass long ago created.

     But being an idiot of high order I will boast that I have several beds where Creeping Grass has finally become obedient.   Oddly it is in those several beds that Portulaca appears now to thrive.

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