Sunday, September 03, 2006


My experiments with "Faith Based Evolutionary Gardening" continue - in spite of what others might consider failure.

The theory of F.B.E.G. is that if you stick something plantlike into the ground and do basically nothing to nurture it other than to have a resolute belief that everything will turn out okay, then the plant's intrinsic desire to live will take over and it will somehow adapt and survive. Or not.

Some people might think of this scientific proposition as the rationalization of a lazy gardener who is too busy doing other things, like writing about yard work, to have any time for the actual business of horticulture.

To them I say, "Piffle!"

On my own modest little test farm I have several pieces of evidence that prove my hypothesis. Unfortunately none of them are types of flora that anyone wants. In fact last week when I cut my lawn, the only things that I was mowing were these things that I didn't want growing - namely G.T.G. and Wild Oaks.

"Gratis Town Grass" (G.T.G) is the result of the handful of seeds that the town of Wethersfield scatters onto your apron to atone for wrecking the grass that was previously there which they destroyed when they, for example, snowplowed your curb up onto your sidewalk. After replacing the tar edging, and filling in the dirt with some brown flaky substance that is somewhat similar to soil, they lightly sprinkle the general area with some kernels, and walk away.

Since I've had previous experience with the end product of these little germinating devils I immediately begin to totally ignore them - no water, no fertilizer and definitely no other forms of T.L.C. In fact, in hopes of causing their rapid demise I grind the seeds under my heels, kick the earth around a lot, and shepherd several of the pigeons that frequent my yard down to the area at breakfast time.

Nothing works. In spite of a complete lack of nurture and encouragement, the "grass" springs to life. Not only does it grow, but it rapidly becomes the biggest, greenest, meanest plant on my whole damn property. With roots that run to somewhere east of Shanghai. And the ability to hunker down under even the lowest of lawn mower blades, these muscular-looking green meanies can survive any attempt at removal from above or below - and still keep thriving. I'm looking down at them this very moment from my second floor study. They are just about the only green thing in my lawn - except for the Wild Oaks.

This forest of tiny intruders is, I'm pretty sure, the result of the planting efforts of my resident tree rats who solve the problem of not being able to remember where they bury their acorns by basically sticking them everywhere.

Since these ravenous rodents bury about a gazillion times more than even they can possibly eat, the residue begins to pop up on my property just about this time of year - another unwelcome emerald interloper on my otherwise lifeless brown lawn (remember F.B.E.G. applies to everything).

So last weekend I set out to mow down this incipient timberland before the folks from Weyerhaeuser started building logging roads into my property. I fired up my eats-anything lawn mower confident that this mulching monster that easily decimates fallen branches and devours tossed-aside Taco Bell soda cups would quickly make mincemeat of the fragile looking little acorn byproducts. Only to find that, even after three and four passes through the mini-woodland (each one faster and angrier than the one before), my unwanted visitors were still visiting - and even more unwanted.

Frustrated by failure, and tired of pushing, I dejectedly pulled my machine back to the starting point and discovered that this backward direction and therefore counterclockwise blade rotation had successfully severed all of the oak-babies from their front yard squatting spots.

I tried a second row with the same results. Victory, but with a price, twice the time to complete the job of cutting a lawn that doesn't need cutting to begin with. But worth it - the direction-centric proclivities of young oaks being yet another significant discovery in the annals of horticultural science. (I wonder if south of the equator you need to use a clockwise cut.)

So given the favorable outcome of my F.B.E.G. experiments (at least as I see it) I will continue on with my pseudo-empirical studies.

Next I will look into whether the world is being overrun by creeping or burrowing invertebrate animals with long, slender, soft bodies and no limbs - is there a Global Worming Crisis?

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