To misquote Neil Young somewhat, weeds never sleep. We all know that, and at the end of this cool, wet winter in Sydney, the garden weeds have never been happier. They have been having a wonderfully invasive season. Here in Pammy and Jamie Land, it's the usual suspects: the oxalis, chickweed and onion weed in particular, plus a bunch of other little rotters whose names I still don't know.
As if that is not enough punishment for virtuous artists and gardeners, the real kicker is that some of our beloved own plants have decided to go over to the other side — the dark side — and become weeds. Pictured below is Exhibit A: the chervil that decided to plant itself in our Thai lime pot.
The parent patch of chervil which spawned this tropical runaway (pictured below) is about 20 feet (6 metres) distant. It truly beats me how an errant chervil seed made its way down here and UP(!) into the pot but it's obviously happy and healthy, taking advantage of my generous citrus feeding and watering policies, not to mention the cool, green shade provided by the Thai lime tree.
This little episode starts to make me wonder if this chervil is normal, old-fashioned chervil. Could it be some lab monster? What makes me think this warped, twisted way is the fact that all this thriving chervil didn't come into the world via a packet of seeds. No, this stuff entered our garden via Woolies supermarket, where I bought a simple punnet of "healthy sprouts" that you're meant to snip into your marvellously healthy salad. Here's a link to that story.
Enough paranoia, let's move on to exhibit B: the maidenhair fern that has gone punk.
Compared to the runaway chervil in the lime tree pot, which at least makes gardening sense in that it chose a nice spot to become a weed, this maidenhair fern-ette has gone the full punk rocker and aspires to be a pathway weed growing out of a crack in the concrete. Call me conservative if you like, but this is just not right!
To set the scene, here's our dreary little side path where the garbage bins live, with the maidenhair "weed" in the foreground and some evil asthma weed (Pellitory) in the background, doing its wheezy worst.
A full 15 feet (about 4.5 metres) away is the none-too-healthy but still alive parent plant, in its garden bed under the cool shade of one of our murrayas. Now I suspect some of you might think this unhealthy adult is the perfectly appropriate, dishevelled parent of a punk weed, but it is the end of winter, the cold winter winds rushing up our side path can be ferocious, and in another month or two this fern should bounce back to better health once the weather warms up.
While I am trying to confect a little outrage here at the thought that some of my garden lovelies want to become weeds, my real feeling is yet another burst of "ain't nature wonderful?"
Should it turn out at the end of my existence that I get the most almighty surprise and end up at a bunch of pearly gates, my name ticked off the guest list and allowed to enter, I will be making a bee-line for the Head Gardener up there in heaven. While there are so many questions I will have to ask (he/she must get sick of old gardeners bothering them) I will definitely be wanting an explanation of how maidenhair ferns turn into punk pathway weeds. Down here on Earth, I haven't got a clue how it happens.