Sarah Roush

It’s been another interesting week in our household. Our boy, Sparky, has been exploring everything, although the poor child is going to grow up being confused about so many things in life.

A couple years back, I had read a gardening tip about utilizing old carpet to smother noxious weeds. The idea was the dense material would allow water through, but, not sunlight and the mesh backing would prevent any surviving plants from breaking through. After several months, you just roll up the carpet and ta-da!... no weeds and a patch of ground you could easily populate with your preferred plants.

I had a friend who was remodeling her condo at the time, so I happily gathered her carpet and gleefully placed slices in my garden. Take that, you miserable sweet potato vines. Bye-bye thistles.

I won’t lie, it was gratifying thinking about their slow death by nylon plush. In the meantime, we had beige carpeting where a patch of noxious plants had been thriving. I gloated every time I cruised by on the lawnmower.

And then….

I sort of forgot about it. Life became complicated and stressful. Gardening was off the table because it required more time and energy than I could spare. In the meantime, the fields in front and behind us were being planted and harvested. Soil settled into the pile and life sprung forth. After a while, a fine crop of healthy and lush foliage, which, oddly enough, produce abundant four-leaf clovers, had grown to the point where we were now mowing the carpet. There was no indication where the rug started, and the topsoil began. Amazing. I had a couple hundred feet of textile lost in my yard.

Last week, I was in the lost garden with Sparky. He was admiring clover buds, when I spied the edge of a piece of carpet. I dug my fingers under the edge, lifting the entire end, then backed up, pulling a large swatch. Sparky’s eyes about popped out of his head. To him, it looked like mommy just tore up a huge patch of grass in a single piece. He ran over to examine the earthworm colony that was now exposed. I found the next piece and pulled it up as well. Again, it looked like I was ripping up the lawn.

Sparky decided to get into the act and tried to do the same, he tugged at weeds and wound up with handfuls of leaves. I pulled up one last strip; again, he watched in fascination. He looked at me, the bare patch of ground and the mounds of carpet and said with something approaching awe, “Wow, mommy strong.”

I know I should have showed him it wasn’t really a slice of random turf being peeled away. A better person would have. What I did, was strike a strongman pose, and said “You betcha, little man.”

Years from now, when Sparky is in some sort of therapy for dreams involving his mother ripping up fields of clover, I hope he finds this column. He will then realize his dream was true, and the result of my pursuit of a weed-free garden. Were they both crazy? You betcha, little man.

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