Monday, August 10, 2009

Dirt Therapy

I am at war with a Mimosa tree. I remember being able to hold it at bay ten years ago, then I got all kinds of pregnant and distracted for a couple of years and it took over the corner of my house. The trunk is now about a foot in diameter and the roots spread at least 15 feet in god knows how many directions. It has claimed the lives of various shrubbery and infringed upon my general driveway area and I am not pleased about this at all. Not at all I tell you. Its reign will soon end; I will see to that myself with hand tools, powdered milk, unreleased anger toward relatives (both blood and legal), and perhaps other means as well. I have dedicated myself to the cause. I call it Dirt Therapy.

Yesterday I started by weeding my flower beds (as now they are that in name only). At first I targeted crab grass, then moved on to some kind of ornamental grass whose name I do not know. I'm sure people pay lots of money for this in stores, but I didn't plant it and it propagates without my bidden authority, so to hell with it, it's out. Midway through that I had a slight change of heart. I saved some and planted it experimentally around my mailbox with the expectation that it's unnatural ability to survive will surpass my innate gift of killing every green thing in my vicinity. We shall see.

Anyway, under the ornamental grass I discovered roots. Mimosa roots. I began to hack away at those with reckless abandon wreaking havoc with a pruning saw and powdered milk (it's kind of a holistic thing, I'm trusting it for now). I did not accomplish much in the short term.

Today I emerged with a more focused plan. I would clear away the grass, uncover the Mimosa roots and follow them to their end. I was methodical about it, patient, perhaps even frightening in a serial killer kind of way. See, I have an agenda; there are two more of these trees in my yard and I want them dead....mmmm, practice. I landed each blow of the trowel with a solid, satisfying *thunk* in the soil. I cleared the grass and each time I struck a Mimosa root I worked the dirt around it, exposing it with murderous intent. I found a trove of daffodil bulbs in the process, a happy surprise. I set those aside for planting later. I found skeletal remains of azaleas and boxwoods claimed too suddenly by the Mimosa and sent them to the street for disposal with a sense of loss. Never again Mimosa. The next shrub to die will be at my own hand, you insidious overgrown weed. The hypnotic fragrance of your delicate flowers does not fool me; your blooms will never drop like bullets on my car again.

Southern August humidity found me bathed in mud and sweat for hours today. Dirt Therapy takes its own time ...and it is welcome.

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