What's That Pretty Weed?

April 19, 2016

In 2003, I purchased my first money pit, a.k.a my home. I made it clear to my realtor that the house was secondary to the yard.  It had your normal cookie cutter landscape. You know, the kind with the circle and square shaped plants. The only plant left alone was a lovely white birch, which was a great selling point for me. I knew right then and there I could plant anything I wanted. Being the offspring of Connor Shaw, my first move was to bring nature back to earth.

My first step was to plant trees and shrubs. I'm sure my father was proud. However, my next step was more radical and not making everyone that lived near me happy. The grass had to go! Every bit of it, then replant it with native perennials. Here are a few on my "replace the sod" list; Lead Plant, Prairie Smoke, Shooting Star, Blood Root, May Apple, Evening Primrose, Butterfly Weed, Northern Dropseed, and countless more. My yard was full of life and looking wonderful!

Getting back to the not-so-happy observers. We'll call the first concerned citizen Chuck, a neighbor who did not care for the native landscape. He had no problem telling me about it either. He would say "Why are you planting all those weeds?" I would try not to notice him to avoid long pointless conversations about the world. This was a bad tactic because Chuck was retired and had all the time in the world. There was no way out of talking to Chuck, or as I later found out through a misdelivered letter, Charlie Brown. The only way to beat Charlie Brown and his rain cloud was to befriend him. Slowly convert him to a pro-native guy, or that was the plan anyway.

I tried and tried to no end to befriend Charlie/Chuck, but we were on opposite sides of all view points. From politics to car brands, toilets to light bulbs, we saw eye to eye on nothing. I thought this would stop him talking to me, but no... After all, he was retired and had all the time in the world. He loved poking me with his verbal stick. It was not till one day Charlie said, "What's that pretty weed?" I knew right then and there I had him. We both like pretty. I snatched the pretty weed (prairie smoke) up and handed it to him. We were friends in the pretense of pretty. We both love pretty flowers. This was a newly budding, though very shallow relationship. I put together a bunch of pretty flowers from my yard that Charlie could take home to his wife. Charlie Brown was so focused on the weeds, he never saw the pretty.