Saturday, January 23, 2010

I mint well

One does not pass up 70 degree January days in North Texas. So yesterday, when we had one, I pulled the tulip, crocus, daffie, and hyacinth bulbs out of the refrigerator, grabbed the shovel, and proceeded to push them into the flower beds. Last year's crop of the newly-planted had been beyond disappointing, as none of the 100 tulip bulbs appeared. As I am a creature of habit (all my veggie garden rows curved the same way year after year much to my husband's chagrin), I found myself pushing the shovel into the same areas of ground as last year. How do I know that? I found sprouting bulbs.

Maybe they were taking a year off last season. Whatever, they now have considerable company.

I ended up in the backyard yesterday afternoon, planting a few bulbs and then taking the pruners to the lantana bushes. I love lantana and lantana loves me. Too much love, as I bought the wrong thing several years ago and instead of spreading on the ground and behaving, the varieties grew about 6 feet tall and threatened to take over. I started getting my revenge, however, by cutting them off at the ground. They will be back; I'm sure of it.

This morning, although the weather was not at all as nice as it had been, I determined to finish hacking, uh, pruning the lantana, and I ventured forth once more. I was going great until I reached the herb bed. There's a huge rosemary plant and some plucky sage. Until the 13 degree nights two weeks ago, there was oregano.

And then there's the mint. Everywhere. In the grass. Under the brick edging. Some, but not nearly enough of it, frozen and brown. I started pulling and found luxuriant green growth. Mint must be a weed. It has become a very unwelcome guest and ground cover.

So, I had a thought as I was pulling and pulling and getting no where. By the patio is a patch of ground cover which should have taken over 6 or 7 years ago when it was planted. It is still anemic and lethargic. What if I transplanted some mint? Would it show itself to be its usual hardy and stubborn self, or would it, like all the ground covers I've tried, promptly turn up its little flora nose and refuse to propagate?

It's something to think about.

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