Spring Cleaning, or the Things I've Learned

Urtica dioica subsp. dioicaStinging nettles do not look like the word "nettle" sounds. "Nettle" suggests something tall and skinny, like a tall grass tipped with small vessels that produce the sting...No. They look like any other weed, and they do, in fact, sting.

I like weeding. But it's not for the impulsive, the careless or the disorganized. You need to be willing, like an archeologist at a precious dig, to move slowly from one square patch of earth to the next, carefully removing every non-belonging plant, one at a time. I am tempted to do it with big grabs, heavy handfuls of green and root. It doesn't work so well that way.

Finding an earthworm in soil you've just turned is as thrilling as finding an egg in your hen's nest.

Chickens are upset when you shovel out their coop, even if you then layer the floor with lovely, soft, sweet pine smelling new bedding. It may be s***, but it's their s***, and they'd like it left alone, thank you very much. They are much like children in this way. At least, my children.


Anonymous said...

Hmm. Like mine too. Like me for that matter.


mitch said...

lovely post.

Margaret said...

Ah, Paige, I should have pre-warned you about the nettles...my bad.
The funniest part is, Martha (my ex-boss of many eons) made the most delicious nettle soup each spring. Her recipe:
Making shinola out of you-know-what.
P.S.--When are you coming to visit the garden?

monika said...

Tallulah got stung by nettles last week -- neither she nor Pierre knew what they were (or had ever heard of them), so she got some pretty good welts before they figured it out. They are all over here -- in the park, roadside, along the path...

Nettle soup -- must try that. I know my grandmother used to make some, and nettle tea of course. And then, nettle ointments.