Saturday, January 23, 2010

weeding with Emily

You can read Emily Dickenson's poem in its original state here, but after pulling hundreds of dandelions today I can't resist a parody:

    After great rain, a day of sunshine comes.
    The weeds sit ceremonious with buds and blooms
    arising on tall stems from muddy ground
    we thought we'd cleared off yesterday

    This is the hour of weeds.
    Remembered if outlived,
    as freezing persons recollect the snow --
    first dandelion, oxalis, letting nasturtiums go.

Oxalis' huge family (Meet the Sorrels, dahling! They are from France, and they make that soup!) includes some members that are tolerated and even encouraged. I must admit to dividing and planting some of the bright pink ones while under the mistaken impression that they were shamrocks. But your tall yellow oxalis is totally without redeeming social value. A native of South Africa, it will stand a foot tall and flaunt flowers of garish neon intensity while developing fistfuls of tiny corms underground.

At some point in the near future, my nasturtiums will have to be defined as weeds, but for now I'm letting them do their thing so that I can save seed from the rarer colors -- palest yellows and darkest reds. Meanwhile I love the way water beads up on their broad leaves. So Marvellian.

Nasturtium butter looks to be an easier indulgence than the labor-intensive pseudo capers made from nasturtium buds or seeds. Let the blossoming begin!

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POSToccupations by Frances Talbott-White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License