Tag Archives: strawberries

Off In The Weeds

Maybe I’ve been self-isolating for just a little too long.  I’m talking to weeds now, and it almost cost me a friendship.

But it wasn’t my fault that I apparently phoned my very nice neighbour and told her she wasn’t welcome at our place.  No; the blame lies with our strawberry patch, and rampant weeds.  (It’s good to be a fiction writer — we can manufacture bullshit to rationalize even the most egregious behaviour.)

Here’s what happened:

Our garden is in full swing, which is my oblique way of admitting that we planted far too much as usual.  I’ve picked 150 pounds of strawberries so far, and everything else is doing its best to compete with that over-the-top-abundance.  And when I say, ‘everything else’, that includes the weeds.

But the strawberries didn’t quit after yielding 150 pounds. They were still pumping out ten pounds of berries every second day when I cried ‘Uncle’ and started inviting friends and neighbours over to pick. (Thank goodness we have lots of room so social distancing was easy.)

One of our neighbours planned to drop by sometime in the late morning, and she said she’d call before she came. I was outside weeding and enjoying the beautiful weather, so I stuck the phone in my pocket.

Spotting one of those long vine-like weeds wrapped around a potato plant like a malevolent steel cable, I hunkered down to unravel it.

“You’re… not… welcome here!” I growled, just as the phone handset beeped.

When I took it out and checked the display, my heart plummeted: “Missed call”, along with my neighbour’s number.

Oh, SHIT.

I dialled her back, and she picked up immediately.

“Um…” I began sheepishly. “Did I just, um… hang up on you?”

“No,” she replied, sounding puzzled.  “I didn’t call you yet.”

Whew!  I had pocket-dialled the call list; not my neighbour.

I sagged with relief and explained the situation, and laughter ensued.  It was a little embarrassing, but I figured it was better to be that weirdo who talks to weeds than that rabid bitch who invites people over and then rudely rescinds the invitation.

And as soon as I got off the phone, I yanked out that weed with extreme prejudice.

I’d love to report that I’ve learned my lesson and I don’t talk to weeds anymore; but that would be a lie.  The only thing I’ve actually learned is not to carry the phone to the garden.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who talks to weeds…

Book 16 update:  Initial plotting is almost complete, and I’m hoping to start putting words on the page this week.  Woohoo!

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Flipped Off By The Bird

It’s that time of year again, when even the mildest-mannered gardener turns into a homicidal lunatic.  I wasn’t mild-mannered in the first place, so I’m in full Rambo-mode.

Why, you ask?  (Or maybe you don’t; but tough noogies.  I’m going to tell you anyway.)  Yep, once again I’m locked in a life-or-death struggle with garden-raiding critters.

In March, Hubby took down last year’s bird netting so he could double the size of our strawberry patch.  We now have 22 raised beds, an area 60 feet long and 20 feet wide.  After much anticipation (and much weeding), the first few berries began to blush a couple of weeks ago.

The robins swooped in immediately.

“That’s okay,” I thought.  “It’s a giant patch.  There’ll be enough for all of us.”

Ha.

Robins do not share well.  Nor are they considerate berry-pickers.  When I went out to pick ‘my share’, I discovered that long sharp beaks had plunged into almost every berry that had even a touch of red, and about half the harvest was gone entirely.

Then the robins got possessive.  No longer did they fly away when I approached.  I had to chase them off, waving my arms and shouting obscenities.  (The obscenities probably weren’t strictly necessary, but they made me feel better.)

Then it got to the point where they’d only move about ten feet despite my bellowing and arm-waving; and as soon as I hunkered down to pick the pathetic leftovers, they’d settle in a couple of rows behind me and chow down all over again.

The worst part was their derisive clucking and chirping.  I just knew those little feathered bastards were laughing at me.

So, up went the netting again.  As I secured the last gap, I shot a triumphant look at the robin perched outside the perimeter.  “This is your own fault,” I lectured.  “If you hadn’t been so greedy, you could have still been eating nice fresh berries.”

He let out a loud chirp, flicked his tail at me, and flocked off.  He didn’t have a middle finger to jab skyward, but I got the message loud and clear.  Now I know why they call it ‘flipping the bird’.

At least my berries are ripening unmolested now.  But… last night I spotted a rabbit checking out the veggie garden.

AAARGH!!!  GRAB THE CHICKENWIRE; I’M GOIN’ IN!

Do you ‘enjoy the relaxing hobby of gardening’?

The giant strawberry patch

 

This is how they’re supposed to look: No ugly beak-gouges, just plump beautiful berries. YUM!

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