Tired from an afternoon of weeding, I hoped to sleep like the proverbial rock. Instead, it was rock and roll. I tossed and turned all night long while visions of Chickweed and Henbit danced in my head. Living up to their names, both weeds are chicken feed.
I didn’t know a crop of chickweed could look like wall-to-wall carpet until yesterday — its small nesting leaves grow low to ground with little white flowers on stems that branch out like spokes on a wagon wheel. It had no manners, having practically shoved out the purple flowered and furry leaved Henbit – this mint family relative is suppose to be good in a salad, but I’ll pass and let the chickens have mine.
All this weeding took place at my neighbor’s front yard. I adopted it last summer after meeting the owner who was home for a quick emergency visit — someone had had the audacity to report their foot high weeds to OKC weed control. Can you imagine? Anyway, even if I’d been the tattle tell, we soon became fast friends, especially when she gratefully gave me carte blanche to do as I wished to her untended yard.
Safely tucked under my wing, this little adopted patch of dirt is now my budding garden laboratory, where I experiment with all sorts of plants I’d never have the courage or patience to try in my own. Last July, I planted a border garden full of Victoria white and blue salvia I picked up on close-out. It was not suppose to thrive in this mostly shady spot, nor was it to survive the winter. But it has defied the odds twice. And in October, I seeded my first lawn. Amazing, but it too is thriving, in spite of a dry winter.
Now, with all the chicken feed weeding done, I’m sowing poppy seeds in their place. I’m told it’s too late. But I bought seven packets anyway and have sown them as if I were rolling dice in Las Vegas, like some gambler possessed by a lucky streak. I rationalize. No matter what happens, it can’t be as bad as foot high weeds.
Compliments of Kara, I began my afternoon gardening pursuits with a full belly. She hosted this month’s movable family feast with brunch at Bellini’s. We were ten strong, only missing two of my chicks — Kyle was on spring break in New Mexico and Lara, my new adopted girl, reported in sick. For a tad more than mere chicken feed, we enjoyed eggs cooked in imaginative ways–in frittatas, omelets, poached, over crab cakes, over salmon and in pancakes.
And because of yesterday afternoon – I now know the answer to that age old question — which came first: the chicken or the egg? Because I was told by those in the know— those old gossip spreading Chickweed and Henbit weeds–as we whiled away five long hours under my neighbor’s old Pecan tree. And, being a gambling gardener, I lay odds they were right.
It was neither chicken nor egg. It was just chicken feed.