NOTES FROM GROUNDHOG HILL: Leave the weeds alone

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By Steve LaRue


Should you see a very angry-looking gardener with flared nostrils and blood-red pupils staggering around town this week and muttering expletives to himself, don’t be alarmed. It’s just me.

A few days ago, Dad and I drove over to Groundhog Hill to check on the storm damage where I had expected to find lots of downed sunflowers.  Instead, I found something much worse and far more disturbing: Someone had weeded or mowed my pumpkin patch.

Granted, my pumpkin patch was looking much like the garden equivalent of a dirt-encrusted car with the words “Wash Me” scribbled on it, but I thought it was my car to wash. I thought wrong.

At this point, you’re probably thinking “Geez, overreaction.”

After all, it’s not every day someone weeds another person’s garden … without telling them beforehand or asking if there was anything in that garden besides pumpkins that shouldn’t be weeded. And there was.

The pumpkin patch at Groundhog Hill was to be no ordinary pumpkin patch.  The animals there are too smart. I decided to outwit them by strategically planting a perimeter of basil and marigold which would protect the pumpkins from predators. Basil deters the deer. Marigold deters the bugs.

By October, this patch was to have been a triumph of herb/flower power, a potential blueprint for future pumpkin patches to come.

Now, it’s a patch with a power outage. The pumpkin plants are still there, having been very nicely weeded, but the rows of other stuff, which I admit were hidden by morning glory and Johnson grass, are no more. I feel much more annoyed than thankful for this act of random kindness.

The Good Samaritan or culprit, depending on one’s point-of-view, can only be one of two people, one of whom has an over abundance of mowing equipment. I shall call him Von Jarney. The other suspect, of course, is Harold (he of the perfect garden next door).

When I see this person next, I hope my nostrils will have stopped flaring, that my normal eye color will have returned, and that some perspective will have set in so that I can calmly thank him for such a well-intentioned gesture. Deep breaths … remember, they’re just weeds and it’s just a pumpkin patch.

More later from Groundhog Hill.

Steve La Rue can be reached at groundhoghillky@aol.com.