Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
A fine day last May, I swiveled my writing chair to the window in search of the right word. Again. A hummingbird flew under the blooming arc of a Solomon Seal stem, sipped from a tiny, white bell, and darted away.
Now, I’d already determined to remove this large, invasive lily from my gardens this spring. Entirely. Like its cousin, Lily of the Valley, Solomon shows no respect for neighbors. Leave one root in the soil and up pops a shoot to the pull of the sun.
Yet, there I stood, a veil lifted from my eyes to see the bliss in the beautiful flight of the miniature pollinator.
So I rethought my extermination of the Polygonatum. However, upon a closer look of the flower bed, Solomon’s roots infringed upon a Bleeding Heart. I’m most protective of her dangling, pink gems which hummingbirds also pollinate. Furthermore, Bleeding Hearts mind their borders.
I swiftly resolved to no longer give garden space to wandering species. Take Mother Nature’s volunteers, for instance.
She may’ve meant well, but Creeping Bellflower appeared by the front faucet several springs ago, and unbeknownst to me waged underground warfare with deep, tuberous roots.
Suffering battle fatigue the end of April, I consulted two garden experts. “That’s probably Campuanula rapunculoides, the bad purple Bellflower. It’s everywhere,” one botanist said.
“You have two options,” both authorities agreed. “You can apply an herbicide to the leaves, or remove the roots with a shovel and a four-tined iron fork.”
I’ve never used herbicides and would rather not. However, those two basic tools are my right and left hand, which meant much labor throughout the spring and summer.
“Eventually, you’ll remove enough roots to control invasive growth. Use newspaper under your mulch to prevent the sun from sprouting shoots,” my advisors said.
After paying three weeders $350 for three hours to begin the Bellflower and lily evacuation, I counted the unaffordable, continuous cost.
Thus, I carried my shovel and fork into my perennial island, opened the earth, and rescued a blooming Oriental poppy from clumps of Lily of the Valley.
Meanwhile, honeybees flew in and buzzed through the long, quivering purple-black stamens surrounding the poppy’s ovary. With some effort launching, the honeybees flew away with black pollen sacks on their back legs.
And with some effort, I added two large garbage cans of lily and Creeping Bellflower roots to a burn pile. Then I settled on my bee-watching chair. There I observed worker bees descend upon the hive’s bottom board, many sporting orange, gold, and black socks on their legs.
Dear Reader, this bliss, a portion of my terrestrial and spiritual endowment, began thirty-four years ago when I asked God to lead us to a home where my husband and I could grow old together.
And He did.
Little did I know, come springtime, I’d find pollinators and flowers my steadfast companions.
Contact Iris at email@example.com.