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Herbicidal Maniac on the Loose



The warm weather combined with the fact that my yard is the shame of the neighborhood (they have green grass year round and flowers that change color upon request) made me decide that it was time to visit the Garden Mega Store and tackle the jungle I call home.


We drove to the wonderland of blooming flowers and greenery that seemed to give every shopper a ‘come hither’ stare where people in coveralls and mud boots discussed soil PH and fertilizer variables leaving me feeling like I was visiting a foreign land and looking for a translator.


All I knew was that I wanted mulch, two flowering plants and some herbs… little did I know that this simple list would get me in so much trouble.


I should have known better than to ask for assistance from one of the clerks, or “botany placement specialists†as their name tags read.


“Excuse me, which way to the mulch?†I ask, thinking that this was a simple request.


That one question was met with a barrage of questions flung back to me in ‘Botanese’:


“What kind of plants will you be bedding? What is the PH of your soil? Do you want conifer, deciduous, reclaimed or recycled and repurposed?"


I stood there blinking slowly. “Ummm, the last stuff I got came in a clear bag with purple stripes, does that help?â€


I thought that my botany placement specialist would have a stroke right then and there and I was given a crash course on mulching through the ages and what types work best for what soil conditions and bedding plants. I paid close attention and finally convinced her that I should be allowed to purchase some cypress mulch after agreeing not to plant any fleshy low PH loving annuals in the bed without treating the soil first to balance the PH. I am pretty sure that I am going to break that promise because I cannot tell the difference between a fleshy low PH annual and a woody high PH perennial but I really want that mulch to toss under the bushes in the flower bed.


I had learned my lesson and made sure not to ask for assistance in finding the flowering plants and the herbs so off I went to the bedding plant area. I just needed two flowering plants for pots on my porch and some mint, oregano and chives to place in a strawberry pot. I am sure the flowers will go into a coma the moment I place them in my car and will be dry husks by morning, but hope springs eternal. I choose some Gerber daisies then rolled into the vegetable and herb pavilion.


Herbs grow great for me and are the one thing that I seem not to kill, maybe because herbs are the closest thing to weeds that we grow and I seem to be the pied piper of weeds. My husband was getting grumpy by this time and had to make a quip as we passed the trays of tomato seedlings, “Look, honey… death row."


Back home the mulch was tossed in place and smoothed, the herbs were planted and the quickly fading flowers were buried alive. (Is it wrong that my husband said a small eulogy when handing them to me?)


I sure hope that no botany placement specialists happen to drive by or I might find my face on a wanted poster under the header “Herbicidal Maniac on the Looseâ€.


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