'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,

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what's that Bible stuff doing there

If you've wondered why I have two bits from the New Testament on my journal's front page, where late was the self-pity-y Mona's Law from Tales of the City, wonder no more: it's cuzza this garlic mustard in the yard. This morning, after reeling the back pastures (small bits of yard around the gardens), I made my first serious stab at the invasion of second-year plants.

This stuff is some insidious greenery, gals 'n' guys. Thanks to squirrelykat and the MSU info to which she referred me, I know to take seriously this Alliaria petiolata, with no natural enemies hereabouts, and 350 to 7900 seeds PER PLANT. Yes, that was no typo. It's a bloody lot of seeds.

I pulled up a 30-gal. bag's worth of it & barely made a dent. It does smell a little like garlic when you crush the leaves.

When I was a little girl ("well, young," as I used to quip) I had a small pendant that was comprised of a glass sphere and the single mustard seed therein. Of course they told me the story about the faith of a mustard seed, and I thought that was pretty cool---not so much because I was having trouble mustering a mustard's seed's worth (which I was), but because it seemed like an old-fashioned way of saying it. I gathered that the idea went way back, and I thought something like: "that's neat, that the thing they picked to be really, really tiny for comparison was a seed that happens to be really small. Wonder if it's the smallest seed of all." And that's about as far as it went. I was mostly thinking that, if I'd been the one saying that you only needed a tiny bit of faith, I'd probably have compared it to something modern-ly standardized, like the tip of the nose on FDR on a dime, or maybe a grain of sugar or something like that, if I thought that far. Seeds seemed so early-human basic.

Now that I know about the garlic mustard, though, I get the other point implicit in the metaphor. This teeny tiny thing can spread all over, like, uh, wildfire. Only worse, in some ways, cuz the seeds stay dormant under the ground for 5 years, getting good and cold, so eradicating it is a years-long process.

Off to shower and head out into the world for a little while. Yard work wasn't on my to-do list, actually, since it was supposed to rain. Suppose that's why I did it?

Gotta get over some of this knee-jerk perversity and contrariness. Or harness it better for good use.

Flowers coming now include wild geraniums, two colors of iris, daisies, some darker purple things in the back I didn't get very close to, and a few plants of red, hangy-down bell-like things. Those red ones, and the rhubarb patch, are the spots most overrun by this one particular nasty weed whose fuzzy-lookin' barbs are sharp, strong and thin enough to go right through my light goatskin gloves. I'm going to have to get after those buggers soon. (Soon as I find some thicker gloves around here.)

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