After a very wet December, the hillsides of Southern Cal are bursting with spring-like growth that can easily make you forget it’s only January.
All over the hillside on which my home sits there is the healthiest growth of volunteer foliage I have seen in quite awhile. The weeds are so happy here they are bursting with flowers and color, like those American Idol hopefuls who can’t sing a note but think they can.
“We are landscape!” they yell. “We are flowers!”
And I look at them, thousands of them, erupting out of my carefully laid out African daisies and purple fountain grass and cactii and I shout back, “You are not!”
But really, who am I say, other than it’s my yard and I can tend what I want and tear out what I don’t? I mean, really. The top photo are daisies I planted, that I water and protect and appreciate. The second photo are weeds sprouting out of my juniper hedge. Yellow like daisies and attracting even a honey bee as you can see, they are nonetheless usurpers of my yard and they have overrun it like marauding hordes. And it is only January. They will be back again in April if I do nothing, with all their known relatives and acquaintances.
On Saturday and Sunday I pulled and yanked and cut and tossed until I had blisters on my hands, filling my wheelbarrow several times over with the yellow-headed posers, as well as other volunteers not so pretty who’d been hiding under the blooms.
I guess this is proof that all of us decide for ourselves what is beautiful and worthy of keeping.
And I should say that had these posers sprouted on the part of the hill where there is nothing but boulders and chapparel grasses, I would have let them stay. They just picked the wrong spot. The wrong spot. And they do it every year. Sometimes twice.
I suppose there is a lesson in there for all of us. Bloom where you are planted, not where you decide to plant yourself. You may not be wanted there. And the more important thing? You may be wanted somewhere else. And they are waiting for you. . .
“What is a weed? I have heard it said that there are sixty definitions. For me, a weed is a plant out of place.” ~Donald Culross Peattie