Saturday, May 31, 2014

Green Adventures

"Hate" is a strong word, but when it comes to lawn grass and ivy, I hate. I seethe. Putting greens infuriate me. Ivy-bedecked cottages make me nauseous. If it were up to me, every blade of lawn grass and every leaf of ivy would be plucked from the face of North America, and native plants put back into place.

This is one of those things that an individual doesn't have much control over. I can only do what I can do.

This summer I will be creating a micro-meadow in my back yard. Some damn lawn grass must remain, just so Mr. J can walk to his garage. Otherwise (neighbors are not being asked for feedback), I will be turning my yard over to native plants. I will be helped in this endeavor by a partner in crime lovely professor that The Spare had in college this past year. Turns out the professor is something of a specialist in native species, and she's going to get me seedlings. ..... *evil grin*

I love how many of the local flora that belong here have "weed" in their names: butterfly weed, milkweed, joe pye weed. I told the nice professor that I don't care how high these plants grow or how thick they get, or even if they take over my whole yard. We're going to plant them, and hopefully they'll know the terrain enough to wisely take root and multiply.

Guess who's going to be the most popular gardener in Snobville! Yeah, I know. Not Anne.

So that's my green adventure in the tiny plot of back yard that the Fates have allowed me.

The other green adventure is getting to and from work.

I've been rising at 5:30 a.m. and popping on The Spare's cruiser, and riding it to school. This takes guts, reader. This is New Jersey. The morning commute isn't bad, but in the afternoons, oh golly. I am even challenged on the bike path! I'm so wobbly that a puff of breeze could blow me over (and has). Furthermore, having grown up on a bike without ever wearing a helmet, I have trouble remembering to put one on now. Some mornings I get halfway to work before thinking, "Oh, this breeze feels so good on my hair!" only to realize that I'm missing the essential head protection that all wobbly biking women-of-a-certain-age ought to wear.

Biking to work is only an option in these few spring months when the days are at their longest. But I can always walk home. It's 4.5 miles, one way. I feel blessed to be so close to my place of employment.

Speaking of blessings, today is Walt Whitman's birthday. If my students learned anything this year, it was that an icon who heard America singing now sleeps in their community. May he filter and fibre our blood!


Aquila ka Hecate said...

Beautiful plan for the garden. I wish more people would "get it" but that's unlikely to happen as long as media feeds them ideas of what the land should look like.
Please be careful out there on a bike - the mad apes behind the steering wheels of several tons of metal are going very fast and often using their cellphones while doing so.
I only discovered Whitman a couple of years ago - now I have his "Leaves of Grass" constantly with me.
Terri in Joburg

Laura said...

That is such a wonderful idea! I grow Joe Pye Weed and it is also known as gravel root and queen of the meadow. bees and butterflies love it!

good luck!

Mary J. said...

You go, Sista! My husband keeps this property like a golf course almost. Even mows the pastures because the grass is so green and so watered and so prolific. My realm is the flower beds. I am considering ripping everything out and putting in---native grasses!
And oh yeah, wear your helmet if you insist on riding on the roadways. Yikes!

Maebius said...

oooh, can you take a photo and then a series of photos every so often to "Time-lapse" the growing process? That would be neat. :D

I'll also send you protective energies for Biking. I miss living in Philly where it was my primary means of transport to work and back.

Anonymous said...

Don't you hang the helmet on the bike so you can't miss it?

Anne Johnson said...

Kim, I leave the bike out in the elements. This is on purpose, so it looks like Hell, which it does. Have to bring the helmet inside. But I am getting better about remembering it.