No matter how it’s sliced, this summer has been a brutal one. Excessive heat and drought across the country have taken their toll on lawns and gardens. Each day, the passing landscape has seemed to gasp, crinkle and brown before my eyes as I’ve driven across town. City parks, roadway strips and front lawns morphed into beige deserts barely holding onto life, but something stood out: the weeds.
My admiration for these weeds grew in inverse to the paucity of rain. Dandelion, Queen Anne’s lace, wild chicory, plantain, bindweed, and countless others plants we consider pests survive in callow spite of the drought, ignorantly opportunistic as they spread and thrive.
Considering the steady nourishment from the hose required by my gardens, I have to ask myself why we don’t grow more plants as resilient as these weeds. I know, deep down, we like to feel like we’re the artist in our garden, gently caressing and sometimes manhandling it into harmony. We pluck out those plants that dare to disturb the canvas.
Weeds don’t care about our artistry. In fact, they don’t care about anything. They simply survive. In this, the driest, hottest summer of my life, a new appreciation of resilience and survival has grown within me.
I’m finding beauty in the weeds.