Of Weeds and Love

4 months ago Nebby 0

Source: Crataegus Bonsai Blog.

‘When one summer I came across Emerson’s argument that “weeds” (just then strangling my annuals) were nothing more than a defect of my perception, I felt a certain cognitive dissonance.’ These are the words of Michael Pollan in his hilarious work Second Nature. The dismissive words of Emerson in the garden are not unlike the bonsai grower who prefers the natural approach. It’s hard not to read Pollan and laugh (author of the excellent Botany of Desire among others). A defect of our perception? That weeds might be beneficial or at worst benign to our experience of bonsai…that is a bit of a stretch and I’ll side with Pollan on this issue, for it relates to bonsai just as well. With bonsai the invasion of a weed is as problematic as one in the garden. It takes nutrition and water. It looks bad. Both of those are small problems that become big problems when the weed gains momentum. Soon the bonsai may seem small in comparison to the weed and we have a dissonance of a different order. We are familiar with the bold mustards that raise a coccoon-like pod after flowering only to explode and scatter the seeds far and wide. Or the intractable Irish moss that is actually sold in nurseries as stepables for use between stone flagging (and is not a moss). Dandelions are less a problem than oxalis, those clover-like plants with runners and tenacious roots that seem attached to our soil screens far below, or tangled…

Go to the source blog (Crataegus Bonsai Blog) to read the full article: Of Weeds and Love