How sweet it would be to channel a preRaphaelite beauty who limits her demands to exquisite color and intoxicating fragrance. All her needs would be met by a small rose garden. Mine is a coarser world that requires brute manual labor in order to yield flowers whose ethereal beauty is a thing of a day.
I enjoy this wealth of roses, peonies, irises and poppies as much as I the heavy clay soul I have been amending for twenty years. I have made a garden in a meadow where cows used to graze a couple of centuries ago. The cows are gone and so is the miller whose land this was long before my village earned its place on a map. On this land I have grown roses that once graced a mandarin’s garden. I have also grown peas, potatoes and huge crops of weeds, of which creeping charlie, the most detestable pest, came to the New World as a medicinal plant. Creeping charlie leeches the soil from water and nutrients better mannered plants badly need. I fight it with a crusading zeal and it fights back with such panache I want to come back in my next life as an invasive weed.
Yesterday, I issued a fatwa on another imported–the accursed and inaptly named tree of heaven. There was shock and awe in the garden while I battled these foul fiends. Now I can finish planting beans and potatoes. I have peppers and tomato seedlings to be brought out of the cold frame; there are new clematis and roses in need of borders. I will continue the good fight. My sidekick will help. Eventually, the weeds will return. Such is life.

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