One of the things I did in June was tackle a part of the north border that had never been cultivated. I had dumped leaves there for several years, but otherwise whatever the birds planted that could tolerate shade was growing there: garlic mustard, aster, goldenrod, creeping bellflower, and jewelweed.
My goal was nothing less than complete renovation: weeds removed, soil amended and turned, plants planted. When I get involved in a garden project, I become oblivious to everything except the goal at hand. Anything not needed at that precise moment is thrown behind me or tossed to the side. (Yes, sometimes on the plants waiting patiently to go into the ground.)
For some reason I had to leave and come back. Seeing it afresh, I realized this scene looked more like a war zone than anything else. It is a war zone: the intentions of the gardener against the forces of chaos. I don’t need to tell you that less than a month later, the weeds are back.