The Last Day of Vacation: How To Weed

posted in: Day In The Life, Family 13
Not our tools, plants, or hat, but a fair representation of things. Image: Wikipedia.



On my last day of vacation, I helped Mom and Mark weed the big, circular raised bed at the front of the driveway. It took about an hour with the three of us going on it. We kids can often be found helping out with that chore when we’re at the cottage; it’s the least we can do. Mom and Mark feed us lasagna and take us for ice cream, they encourage book reading and napping, and there’s a moped up there. We weed.  

It was hot the other day and there’s no shade out there. My stepdad was working pretty quickly because he hates weeds. “Filth!” Mark bellowed, throwing a particularly gnarly one into the big bucket. “These damn weeds! I went over this entire thing not but six weeks ago, Marianne!”

Mark and Mom are master gardeners, which I think means they have a certificate and field questions when anyone decides to plant a shrub. Being a master gardener does not make a person automatically organized and awesome when they go about their gardening, but Mom and Mark just naturally are. Case in point: Mark had divided the bed into “zones” and we each had our own zone to weed. 

“There’s your zone and there’s your zone,” he said. “And Marianne, there’s your kit, and there’s your kit, Maru,” Mark said as we walked over to our worksite. The “kit” he made included a bucket, gardening gloves, a trowel, and a mat or towel to kneel upon. I love my stepdad so much. A weed kit? In a delineated zone? Who does that?? Mark. Mark — otherwise known as The Cap’n — does that. He’s also great because he says things like “Filth!” when pulling pesky weeds.

“Hey, guys,” I said, wiping sweat from my brow, “I have a great idea for a horror movie. It would be called The Gardener or The Weed Killer. I mean, look at these implements. They’re so scary!” I held up a tool Mark had put out in case we needed it, some sort of terrifying small rake-claw.

“This one would work, too,” Mark said, showing me a truly frightening-looking blade. “I call it my scalper. You could do some damage with this.” He stabbed the knife into the dirt and cursed at whatever green bit he vanquished.

Mom brought out some cups of water. A butterfly flew by. I was happy.

13 Responses

  1. Ann Bailey
    | Reply

    I make quilt blocks and I’m a Master Gardener. Those two thing always seem to go together. I wonder how many of your fans are also Master Gardeners, Mary? 🙂

    • Barbara OC
      | Reply

      Hi Ann,
      I’m also a quilter and I do love a beautiful garden.

  2. Colleen
    | Reply

    Oh the evil weeds.

  3. Jan
    | Reply

    Husband is a Master Gardener. He says weeds are just plants you don’t want. Some people plant Queen Anne’s Lace. Others rip it outandtnrow it on the urn pile.. . . Filth.

  4. Barbara OC
    | Reply

    That’s the best, spending time with people you love doing stuff you didn’t realize you wanted to do! Mark sounds like a great guy.

  5. Marianne Fons
    | Reply

    Mary! It’s your mom! Yes, that was a fun day, and we put our bare feet in the lake to cool off after, and you even beautifully spread that mulch (but not too mulch!) all down the pathway to the Little Boathouse. You know how we have “Let’s just read!” stenciled on the wall between the bookshelves at the cottage? Maybe we need to do the same sort of thing in the garage, only, “Let’s just weed!” It could hang right above Mark’s weeding kits.

  6. Bob Collis
    | Reply

    I guess they’ll think twice about growing in YOUR garden again!…

  7. Heather
    | Reply

    I pulled weeds this morning! I wound up covered in ants and scratches and I cursed at some pesky vines and roots. It was so satisfying! Glad you had a good vacation, Mary. 🙂

  8. Carrie
    | Reply

    Weeding is never fun but usually a labor of love. Glad you had a great vacation with family.

  9. Wildyam
    | Reply

    Your vay-cay sounds blissful. I too love to weed…. that scrunching sound the weeds make when the ground releases them. Very relaxing!

  10. Jody
    | Reply

    Ha! I’m no master gardener but I was weeding today! Ran out of lawn bags so darn, had to quit 🙂

  11. Deborah
    | Reply

    You know, if you put cardboard down before the mulch, it will keep weeds at bay for a long while! It just breaks down and in a few years, you can add more!! Found it on YouTube!! Happy gardening!!

  12. Jim Buckingham
    | Reply

    “You could do some damage with this.”

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