However, I've realized that I don't have enough room for all the vegetation that I want to plant. In order to make room, I've had to look at my yard through fresh eyes.
So I put on my gloves, put on my gardening shoes, and went out to tackle the patch that needed to be transformed. The day lilies left a few days ago (thanks to a collaborative effort from my family) so all I had left to do was get rid of the violets. As I pulled the violets, I remembered that they weren't all violets. In fact, most of the green leaves and roots that I was pulling out came from an unidentified plant that I once thought was a violet. I let it stay, thinking that it was a heartier violet but, alas, it has crept in and choked out most of the violets. (I shall henceforth call these plants "The Little Deceivers.")
I also noticed that my neighbour's orange poppies had crept over to my side. While they were beautiful, they won't be tasty on our dinner table, so they had to go as well.
As I pulled and yanked and lifted those unwanted plants from my garden, I made sure to leave as much of the soil as I could. Unwanted plants are harder to remove when you have that heavy soil, the soil that is supposed to stay in the garden, clinging to them.
I thought of the bind-weed that we used to have running through our yard. It was all through one section of the garden and I just ignored it. It spread to the grass and we mowed it down. It reached our second garden. That's when we started to really try to tackle it. We got most of it but every so often, I see a vine creeping out of the ground, trying to twist its tendrils around my tomato plants. But I have spent so much time getting that weed out of my garden, and I have spent so many years looking at that weed, that I know what it looks like and I know that I don't want it around any longer.
There's this one section of the garden that continues to harbour a bind-weed root. I let that bind-weed grow for so long that the root is too deep for me to totally eradicate it. So, I watch for that weed, knowing that as soon as I see its ugly fingers, I'll give it a good yank and toss it with all the other weeds... Far away from my garden.
I've not ever thought of myself as a good gardener, and I certainly don't consider myself to be an expert (not yet, at least) but as I see the results of pulling those unwanted plants so that I can plant things that will nourish my family, I am encouraged to stick with it.
I know that I didn't get all the violets' and Little Deceivers' roots. But when they start to grown in my garden, I know what to look for. It's easier to recognize weeds when I've planted good strong, nourishing food in that soil. Some weeds will poke through tentatively while others will unabashedly break through and try to set up shop in my garden. No more. They are not welcome. Recognizing that you have a weed problem is one thing. Resolving to do something about it is another. I think that it's only once you have good plants in place of the weeds that you actually realize how much life and nourishment the weeds were preventing.
Now go - Pull your weeds and plant nourishing vegetation that will be good and useful to you and your family.
(Lest I leave anyone confused, go back and replace any reference to "unwanted weeds" with the word "sin.")