Listen to your mother-in-law!

What’s this picture doing here? Well folks, this is a huge pile of self-inflicted harm.

Hi all,


Just a quick public service announcement from your friendly neighborhood gardener:


There we go. That is all. Resume your regularly scheduled whatevering.

That said, if you’d like a bit of clarification for these remarks,



Then hear o’ hear my tale of woe,

from a summer many years ago.


‘Twas 2010 and we’d just moved in

to our first owned home, complete with garden.

Beset by weeds, the allotment was,

nut thatch, burr clover and an assortment of grasses.

My beloved sat, pregnant and tired,

From moving in, our tempers fried.


And my Mum-in-law, creator of gardens fine,

took pity on me, and weeded mine!

A pile of rubbish she set out for the bin,

she said “don’t compost this or the weeds will win.

When you go to spread it out,

the compost will be filled with seeds that sprout!”


And lo, and woe, and to this day,

I regret the foolish words that I did say.

“Nay! The compost pile will heat and rot,

any weedy seeds set in that spot.

It’ll turn and tumble and decompose,

and in a few months time I’ll have black gold!”


So into the compost pile I sent,

the weeds with seeds in the heap they went.

My mum-in-law did shake her head,

“I hope you’re right,” is all she said.


Right I wasn’t, but wrong indeed.

In fact, I created a garden of weeds.

I amended the dirt with the rich dark matter,

concealing the pervading invaders I unwittingly scattered.

A few months later, what did appear?

An assortment of nut thatch, clover and grasses here.


And even now, those weeds will grow

among any and all of the plants I sow.

Still, my garden provides much to eat,

but requires labor’s excess to avoid defeat.

Had I listened and sucked up my pride,

far fewer tears would I have cried.


Corn lost to nut thatch, sweet potatoes compete

with clover and grasses for good earth they deplete.

And the water that’s guzzled by too many weeds,

makes cukes become bitter, from skin to their seeds.


And if this story of sorrows does cause you to bawl,

remember my caution and do learn it all.

If your mother-in-law knows more than you,

about gardens or books or playing kazoo,

heed her warnings before you do foolish deeds,

like me when I stupidly seeded my garden with weeds.


Love you, Mum.

My mum-in-law, Linda. If she gives you gardening advice, you should listen.


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