31 August 2009

Ramble On

I'm getting the impression that some people don't think I should spend all my blogging complaining about my garden, which is truly kicking me in the nuts. I feel like I need to prove my plight. Recall that for the past two months I've had to fight this monster by myself, and I have no weekends to do it in:

My backyard, my bane of existance.

I was talking to my neighbour the other day. He was saying that it's not that bad. In all sincerity and benevolence, he said to "Just do a little weeding, rake up the dead leaves and branches, put in some decorative stones, and there you go. Easy."

To put his helpful suggestions in context, I'd like you to compare his backyard with mine:

A backyard full of shut the hell up, you stupid neighbour!

He's got zero plants out back and about six plants out front. Those six plants are new and small and his wife takes care of them.


The garden is my enemy. It is invading my mind and ruining my life. I cannot find contentment at all; even if I have free time it's in my thoughts, reminding me that true freedom is impossible and I will never be happy.

I've decided on an appropriate allegory for my garden situation. It's dark and terrible and undeniable. Behold:

The Evil One is on my borders, watching and waiting...

There are definitely similarities. Like Gondor, the non-garden portion of my backyard is a safe haven. Battles are waged on its borders between the forces of light and darkness and, though bloodied, it continues to hold. Indeed, if it fails, the rest of Middle Earth (my house) is lost. We fight the good fight, but my forces are being worn down and slowly the influence of Mordor is spreading as weeds and plants start to overgrow and slow-growing, nice-looking trees are overwhelmed. All is not well. We are slowly losing this war of attrition.

Deep inside the garden is like Mordor. In Mordor it is dark and scary and if you're in there, you're likely to be attacked by orcs. My garden is exactly the same: it's dark and scary and if you're in there, you're likely to be attacked by orcs.

There are even geographical similarities:

Ephel Dúath, the impenetrable mountain range on the border of Mordor.

This rock is my entryway to the thick jungles of plants. I actually have a decent time controling the plants around this area. It's sort of my Black Gate:

The Black Gate. I half expect an army of orcs to come marching out.

Closer in, it's even scarier:

Holy Crap! Is that a mûmak?!

You can see the waves of death creeping over as some formerly healthy, happy trees are felled by the influence of evil, an overgrown towering and twisted tree/shrub I consider to be my Barad-dûr.

The tower of the Dark Lord spreads destruction...

Uh-oh, Sauron's freaky eye is about to look at me!

Ahhhh! It burns!



At August 31, 2009 5:40 p.m., Blogger Eamon Knight said...

Dude, I see your problem: your standards are waaaay too high. I mean, jeez -- those little shrubs are actually trimmed into spheres, and there's bare earth between them (doncha know that Nature abhors a vacuum?). I'll have to post some pictures of the jungle behind our house so you can see what a non-stressful garden should look like.

Just as a public service.

At September 01, 2009 4:28 p.m., Blogger King Aardvark said...

Actually, only two of the shrubs are trimmed into spheres. The main cluster of globules in the middle are extremely slow growing; the previous owners trimmed them that way and they haven't grown at all. I have not touched them.

Before there was bare earth, there was huge forests of weeds about shoulder high. Without removing the weeds, I cannot access the large plants in the back that require pruning.

I would like to let it go to jungle, but I have a hard time accepting a jungle-like backyard. More importantly, my wife despises overgrown jungles yards.

I did manage to kill a bunch of stuff the other day so it won't come back. Mwahahaha.

At September 01, 2009 8:18 p.m., Blogger Heathen Mike said...

I think you should destroy the garden and just say that teenage vandals did it. Just be rough and use feet and, maybe sticks and rocks. Then you have an out (you were at work when the arboreal violence happened), the garden is dead (huzzah!), and more beer-drinking can happen!

You can thank me later.

At September 02, 2009 10:03 a.m., Blogger GDad said...

Assuming you live in a climate where autumn causes the plants to drop their leaves, wait until that happens, then send in a local hobbit surreptitiously to spray everything with RoundUp whilst the wife is away.

Then, in the spring, when life is renewed, the trees and the lawn become green, and you have a bunch of dry twigs sitting there, perhaps she will be more likely to accept your slash-n-burn (minus the burning) approach.

If you live someplace where green happens all year, then you don't have to wait to deploy the hobbit.

At September 04, 2009 4:33 p.m., Blogger Carlo said...

This was awesome! You need to buy armies of lawn gnomes and set them ups in such a way that they're clashing while a surreptitious cat gets a magic ring into the dense foliage.

Regardless, that garden looks awesome. I'd love to be interested in doing something like that, but alas I'm not, and I'm sure that within a few months I'd be living in an unkempt weedy morass.

At September 07, 2009 7:15 p.m., Anonymous Karen said...

The garden plants are supposed to crowd one another; it keeps out the weeds. Just keep feeding them and let them jostle each other for position.

At September 08, 2009 12:21 a.m., Blogger TheBrummell said...

Tell your wife you are inspired by traditional agricultural practices of the Amazon basin: Slash-and-Burn.

Buy a machete, some liquid fuel (may I recommend diesel for fewer explosions?), and send the wife away for a bit. I'll assume even an engineer can figure out the rest.

Also, pure awesomeness in this post.

At September 15, 2009 8:38 p.m., Blogger King Aardvark said...

Mike, I seriously doubt she'd buy that, as much as I'd hope she would :)

Carlo, it has been a weedy morass several times over the year, especially in the spring. Now that's it's September, it's been ok. I killed a bunch of weeds and undesirable plants and they have not been growing back. Huzzah. As for an army of gnomes, that would be pretty sweet. My other neighbour actually has a garden gnome. Perhaps I'll start with his.

Karen, I'd certainly be inclined to let things grow into a solid ground cover, but then I can't reach the really tall, really fast growing plants along the back fence. It's really too deep and inaccessable a garden. Thinking of making some permanent paths, ie. through the dark gate.

To all, thanks for the kudos on this post. I'm aware I haven't been keeping up, so just to have some input from you guys is nice.

At January 19, 2011 6:46 a.m., Blogger aline said...

congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation.
Growing Plants


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