PHOTOS: GARRY ARMSTRONG
During the last two weeks, since summer decided it was time to arrive, everything which had been in arrested development has grown with insane enthusiasm. Roses by the bucketful and more lilies than I’ve seen in my entire life. The jewel weeds, my favorite hardy and hideous weeds had pushed up to more than six-feet-tall. I wouldn’t mind if they weren’t so godawful ugly, but they really are. How they got the name “jewel weed” I can’t imagine. Maybe it is a form of ironic humor?
My son was supposed to come by with the electric clippers, but it didn’t happen. Yesterday, I realized I could not walk out my front gate. The way was locked by the twined thorny branches of the roses and our holly bush. Both had grown from tiny bushes to the size of a small buildings. During the past couple of weeks, they burst into growth and my path disappeared. I was trapped. Well, not entirely. There are other doors, but that’s the easiest way in and out of the house and has the fewest steps.
I called Owen.
“I can no longer leave my home,” I said. “The roses and the holly have trapped me. Any chance of you coming and slicing me a passageway?” I had been thinking about the thorns which grew around Snow White’s tower. It always sounded so fanciful, how the prince could not make his way through the thorny bushes. I was in the process of retracting that entire line of thought.
Owen said, “Oh, right, sorry. I forgot.” He promised to bring the clippers next time. Which would be Wednesday.
Garry brought home flowers for me this afternoon. Red, white, and blue chrysanthemums. “For The Day,” he explained. I needed to cut them down to fit in the vase, so I took out my hand clippers and snipped them off. Much easier than using the overworked kitchen shears. I stood there, looking at the hand shears and thought “Screw it. I want my front walk back!”
Out I went, hand clippers and work gloves and the apron in which I can keep stuff (don’t laugh, they are very useful). Working my way from the door down the path, clipping as I went. Down went several monumental jewel weeds. I left them where they fell. The dogs really don’t care. At the gate, I started cutting before I even left the yard. I kept cutting. Anything that poked at me, I cut. Anything across the path, down it went. I finally gave in and cut down three large branches of roses that were heavily in bloom. I hate doing that, but if I didn’t, they would only get bigger and rougher. New sprouts would grow from them. I even had to cut down a few lilies, which broke my heart.
And down went a lot of the twining weeds and more giant jewel weeds. When I was finally done cutting, I realized I still had to rake the pile and move it off the path. It would hardly improve my mobility if I had a pile of thorny dying branches filling the walk.
I did it and it’s good or at least, better. I’m still feeling bad about having to cut off the roses, but I couldn’t see any other choice.