Mountain Musings


The Garden Song


The weather is so beautiful, now that spring has sprung, that I was inspired to spiffy up my vinca and rose gardens this week. The first chore was removing all the weeds, leaves and pine needles from the yard. Then I began watering the gardens here at the stately Motley Manor, and what do you know? All the plants began sprouting green leaves and buds that are about to burst.


Inch by inch, row by row, I’m gonna make this garden grow. All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground. Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow. Someone warm them from below ‘til the rain comes tumblin’ down. Pullin’ weeds and pickin’ stones, we are all made of dreams and bones. I feel the need to grow my own ‘cause the time is close at hand. Grain for grain, sun and rain, I’ll find my way in nature’s chain. (“The Garden Song” – Peter, Paul and Mary – 1993)


As a matter of fact, the “daffydils” have already sprouted their resplendent yellow blossoms, not to mention the vinca vines, which have burst forth with beautiful purple flowers. I believe they’re called periwinkles. Oh my gosh, look who just popped up in my vinca garden, it’s Old Man Periwinkle, himself.


You may remember him from the Match Game TV quiz show hosted by Gene Rayburn back in the 70s.


So, I sez, “Good afternoon, Peri, you don’t mind if I call you ‘Peri’ do you?” Well, he blew off all his blossoms and quickly vanished beneath the soil.


I’ll never forget the time Gene Rayburn asked his panel of celebrity contestants, “Old Man Periwinkle is so old that he said…? to which Charles Nelson Reilly replied, “The thing that’s funny is everyone thinks I’m dead.” Well, it seemed funny at the time; maybe you had to be there.


Now that I’ve rid the gardens of weeds, I plan on doing the same around the manor to make it fire-safe for this coming summer. Since I’ve had a modicum of success at creating defensible space, I’ll start by offering some tips on the art and science of proper weed clearance. Success for me didn’t come easily; it came from years of trying to be successful. I should point out here what the great philosopher Homer once said: “Trying is the first step toward failure.” (OK, so it was Homer Simpson.)


But seriously, the first step to success in removing weeds is clearing out all of last winter’s fallen limbs and branches so they don’t become entangled in the weed whacker’s nylon string. I’m starting early to avoid the rattlesnakes that come slithering out of their holes in my neck of the woods. Always be sure to wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes from rocks and debris. Since I’m running out of allocated words for this week, I will continue this topic next week.


Oh, by the way, Homer (Simpson that is) also said, “If at first you don’t succeed, don’t try skydiving.”


Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott