I threw a worm into my face this weekend.
When I was a kid, I used to think morning glories were so pretty. Do you know what morning glory is? It is, usually, a weed. A very persistent, fast growing, hard-to-get-rid-of, destructive vine. But it does have pretty white flowers that open during the day and close at night. We had them growing all over the fence when I was a kid, mostly because my stepdad couldn’t get rid of them. They twined all up and down and across and killed plants that were actually supposed to be there. They die in the fall, too, so wherever there were green vines all summer, were just brown sticks from fall until spring, when it would start growing all over again.
It finally being spring, I spent most of last weekend cleaning house, having a party, and gardening. Last year I noticed that I had an alarming number of morning glory vines running through my planting beds on the north, west, and south sides of the house. I didn’t do anything about them last year, being far too busy with parties and boating and amusements of that nature, but this year I have finally started getting back into gardening. The last garden I cultivated was six years ago when I was home with the Kid for a year after he was born. I researched plants, built myself a web-based database that I could search for the right plant to use in every location…you could say I was really into it.
At any rate, last week PVDD and I trooped off to Home Depot and I purchased my first gardening tools: a winged weeder, pruner, gloves, and a hand shovel. On Sunday, I set to work.
Starting with the front of my house, I attacked the dead morning glories first, getting rid of all the dead leftover vines from last year, then digging into the new ones that had already started to infest my planting beds. Now, the only way to get rid of morning glories is to get up all of their roots. They have almost as many roots under the ground as they do vines aboveground, seems like. So I was working from one corner to another, digging up and turning over all the soil, pulling out every single root I came across.
I have to tell you that when I’m gardening, there is nothing more satisfying for me than the sound a weed makes as it is torn unceremoniously from its cozy little earth-bed, leaves, stems, roots, and all. I began to notice that in actuality, I have some rather impressive soil. It’s black, moist-but-not-too-wet, and well aerated. Mostly, I think, it’s because of the incredible array of earthworm-friends that are squirming around in it.
As I progressed, my initial skirmish with the morning glories turned into a full-scale war against the morning glories, various dandelions, cabbagey looking weeds, and tall reedy things that I was ever more determined to eradicate from my little garden-to-be. It was as I was enthusiastically digging out one particularly long and troublesome vine that I dug a little too deeply and levered my hand shovel a little too hard against the fulcrum of the earth, when damned if the the large clod of earthworm-laden soil didn’t fly right off of my shovel to land squarely on my face. Soon after which it slid off, leaving a friendly earthworm friend to wave its little eyeless head at me from its nice little perch on my nose.
Luckily, when gardening I have almost superhuman resistance to all things squirmy, crawly – and in other circumstances, disgusting – little bugs, worms and other unmentionables that might be dug up in the course of waging my war of the weeds.
So I didn’t hesitate to pluck my little worm-friend from off my nose and plop him back into his bed, where he squirmed with glee into the soil. I think he waved at me as he was disappearing, although that might just be my imagination.