Not All Herbs are Weeds! Not All Grasses Go To Pot!
I am not naturally ‘green fingered’ and never thought myself as the gardening type, thinking when younger that ‘that type’ was in their fifties plus and maybe it is a form of natural progression towards old age! Of course when l thought this l was in my twenties which is younger than the fifties, but not as young as say in my tens! Truth be known in my tens l was actually doing more gardening than l was in my twenties! I was a cub and living in Australia and back then there was ‘Bob a Job’ week – although l think they should have been called ‘Hire a young dog’s body and give them a bob if lucky!’
So back then, l was constantly knee deep in weeds and leaves and up to my elbows in cactus filled rockeries, fending off the likes of Bull Ants which were nasty pluckers – yes l said pluckers – and a host of other beasties!
It was not uncommon for me to come eye to eye with a few snakes, most assuredly l remember my adventures with the likes of the Red backs, Funnel-webs and trapdoors and of course my all-time favourite the beloved Huntsman! [Spider species] “A weeding l would go!” and all sorts of other jobs needing to be carried out in my neighbourhood.
I remember very clearly in Malaysia helping the gardener there and in fact it was he who aided me in the provisioning of some good Ganja for one dollar! However my Father an MP for the RAAF confiscated the contraband no doubt for personal use and l was scuppered as to the earliest form of relaxant l could have obtained! Our gardener was always a very happy chappy and always so very chilled out, l now know why, but back then, l was none the wiser!
As l aged and by this l mean in my teen years, my Father insisted that l ‘helped’ in the family garden in England with the sweeping of leaves, leaves, and even more bloody leaves – in fact it was during this time that l forked my foot, and yes again l do mean forked. Luckily it was a serious ‘miss’-adventure! The spoke miraculously passed in-between my big toe and the next toe along – but IT could have been worse than that!!
I did some gardening after that, and then nothing until my early thirties where upon l commenced with classic and conventional row gardening for the many rabbits and guinea pigs that l kept and it was due to my lackadaisical behaviour that the vegetables were overrun by the most staunchest and hardiest of weeds!! But not to be outdone, l developed a genuine passion for them instead and found them to be a totally enthralling topic!
Weeds are awesome – it has to be said! They became a special interest long before l even knew of the relevance of special interest!
However after that fiasco l steered clear of gardening until quite recently – nearly twenty years on from the introduction to weeds l now find myself totally enamoured with the garden and loving it! Of course Alan Gardener, Monty Don and Alan Titchmarsh have nothing to fear from me, but l can now claim to understand what grips them so hard on a frosty morning and warms their cockles! If you are going to be fingered then why not be green!
However this time around l have noticed a few ‘odd’ quirks about my style and more pressingly damning a few traits that are somewhat worrying that l didn’t notice all those years ago!!
I am not sure if it is my Aspergers and or part and parcel of being autistic but l have developed a few taste and touch problems which are fast becoming alarming! Maybe what l am about to disclose is not new to other gardening personalities but l will have to await your responses to know if that is true or not!
For the last ten years or so l have observed sadly through bitter experiences that l have developed an issue with seeing and tasting and saying tasting and touching and shrieking or at least feeling very uncomfortable indeed!
1] If l see a slug on the ground l can taste it is my mouth and want to throw up!!
2] If l squeeze a lemon or lime l can taste it in my mouth!
3] If l mention the word cardboard l can feel it scraping against my teeth – and to me it’s like it for some to hear nails clawing down an old school chalkboard!
These are bad enough but recently l had the most unpleasant experience with latex gloves and compost! NO, oh my goodness, where are your minds going?!!
Last week l was working with seeds and planting up some modular trays and pots but sadly had the displeasure of having to wear latex gloves due to the planting compost being damp and l totally lost it, l freaked out and almost melted there and then! For an entire hour to ninety minutes l frothed at the mouth and fretted and stressed till l got the job done! I battled whatever demons were at play to finalise what l started and trust me when l say it was painful!
I have a problem anyway with mud on my feet or under my nails or for that matter l cannot abide wet dirt on my hands at all – which as you can see MIGHT just make gardening a little bit awkward! I can handle moist…ish mud on my hands, and dry dirt obviously but wet sticky compost and basically it is NOT good! I had to complete the task and in the end had to literally rip off the offending gloves and toss them in the trash and continue by hand which was still unpleasant but not as bad as the latex! We all live and learn!
Certainly means l am going to have an interesting year and worse if it is a wet summer but all the same l am really looking forward to everything, and do have a lot of herbs ready for the raised beds just sadly no weed, but l am sure weeds will make an entrance!
So is there anything that freaks you all out – be this gardening or other, and oh by the way what quirks do you have?