Spring has peeked around the corner in Chattanooga. It was in the mid 70s today. Which means that I was running the air conditioner in the car. Normally, I’d just open my windows, but I was going to a meeting and my hair does not hold up to the windblown look. Instead of looking pleasantly tousled, my hair sticks out at odd angles and I look like a refugee from a disaster movie.
But my hair woes are not the subject of this post. And neither are the daffodils whose lovely flower buds are starting to swell. And neither is my hellebore, which has clearly forgotten to bloom. I plan to gnash my teeth about that soon enough. No, the subject of this post is why my weeds aren’t dead.
When we lived in New England, come late October I’d begin to grin at the weeds. I’d taunt them. “Grow, you vile mutant plants, because winter is around the corner and your evil roots and prickly stems are going to freeze solid. Bwahaha.” Since we had a nasty winter in Chattanooga this year, I was rubbing my hands in anticipation of a weedless lawn and flower beds. I was disappointed. My grass isn’t green, but Luke’s going to have to mow on Saturday because the weeds are growing like...well, weeds.
I know a ton of weed seeds blow in from our neighbor’s yard. She doesn’t have grass, she has a weed patch. I’d love to hex her yard, but I don’t believe in hexes so that doesn’t work. But regardless of the contributions of her weed turf, I have weeds that have overwintered. They were tiny shoots of weediness in the fall that I felt certain would die, die, die. Instead, they spread their loathsomeness and grew virile.
I refuse to take this weed offensive lying down. Every time I venture outside, I pull handfuls of weeds (the family wonders why it takes me so long to get the mail), though the piles of dead weeds everywhere will soon answer their questions.
But here’s my question. Why did the weeds overwinter? I’m sure there’s an explanation, a good scientific one. But I’m leaning towards a more diabolical answer—world domination by genetically-engineered vetch, dandelions, and nut grass. What do you think?