The Coast News Group
Small Talk

No whining; just weeds

Well, fine. I certainly can’t complain about blizzards and hours of shoveling out the car, but I have my own West Coast whine.

Once we got that badly needed rain, my yard is getting way to full of itself.

The yard has gone spring green, it’s true, but the majority of that foliage is weeds. They require that I remove them, on my hands and knees, while getting the back of my neck sunburned. I realize yard work is to be expected by mid to late January in SoCal, but I find I’m really not ready to give up my book by the fire yet.

Thanks to the rain, my habitual neglect has been overruled and all my plants are overflowing their charming, carefully selected pots. I regularly glare at them, but it hasn’t seemed to slow them down.

Yeah, yeah, I know that doesn’t sound right to most of you, but, in truth, I am always rather pleased when plants just stay about the size at which I purchased them.

For instance, I planted these cute, 18-inch ponytail palms a few years ago in my front yard (Yes, it does seem like it was just last week).

They were to replace the far-too-high-maintenance rose bushes I killed. I stepped back yesterday and noticed the palms are now nearly 5 feet. I’m told they are slow growing, but I got a little queasy when I learned they might reach 20 feet. What? Check before I plant? Tsk.

So it’s come to that annoying crossroad — find another dozen charming and somewhat larger pots, multiple bags of potting soil and appropriate fertilizers, schlep them home and get busy… or I can have a garden that looks like it was hit by a Marine barber.

I seem to lack a week off, a quaint potting shed like Martha Stewart or even a fetching potting apron or sun hat. Get my weed whacker.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who’s really tickled you can recycle your yard clippings. Contact her at jgillette@