hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Friday, May 13, 2011

Another Excellent Day (to be followed by rain)

Good sun, blue skies, warm temperatures: who could ask for anything more?  The Canadians were visible today on the roads and in the stores, coming down early for a nice-ish weekend, perhaps.  Alas, I spent most of the day indoors with the quilters, working on a project.  But we quit early enough so that I could spend a little time weeding in the garden, which weeding turned out to be something of a botanical study.

There is a very common weed here which grows early and late and spreads itself around very freely.  I think of it as 'sticker weed,' because it's leaves have something of a velcro quality, easily sticking to anything that touches it and thus able freely to propagate its parts.  But I noticed something else about it today as I was uprooting about 3,000 plants per hour.

It is a plant that grows in a very spreadout fashion as if it were a vine, but it has a very sturdy stem that allows it also to stand upright to a height of 6-8 inches.  However, as the stem gets closer to the ground, it gets ever thinner, thinner than a human hair, so that, should you try to uproot the plant, it quickly breaks, right at the dirt-surface.  If you make an effort to hold onto it carefully, it breaks off a little below the surface, leaving its roots firmly entrenched.  And the roots are very shallowly placed but extend well out, 360 degrees, from the plant's stem so that even if you did get a little bit of root, you aren't going to get it all.  Later on, the plant will be covered with little white flowers, and these produce the seeds that travel with the stickery leaves to make yet millions more little plants.

All round, this is the most effectively protected pointless plant I've ever run into.  It's amazing it hasn't covered the entire earth to a depth of about 5 feet!  But it seems to be content simply to cover my yard to the depth, so far, of about 12 inches.

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