Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Garden Intruder: 9 of 30

National Poetry Month:  30 Day Challenge (Day 9 of 30)
A slice of poetry for today's Tuesday Challenge.  Thanks Stacey and Ruth:  Two Writing Teachers

You snake
across the bare ground,
grabbing the soil
with great strength,
I pull,

You hold 
onto the cool damp earth,
your square stem
reaches toward 
the sky,
you reach,

I spy
your pointy leaf,
deep veins obvious.
My strength is no match
for your
purple dead nettle.
My adversary.

© Cathy L. Mere

Weed or Wildflower?
We have this purple weed that grows in our flower beds and throughout patches of our yard.  According to family rumor the weed was transferred in some perennial transplants that came from my Great Grandmother's house near Logan County many years ago.  I'm not sure about that, but I do know this weed makes me crazy every year.  It gets wrapped around my plants, inside some of our grasses, and within the iris beds.

Sunday's warm weather took me out into my flowerbeds to begin to clean them.  I thought this would be a good time to get ahold of this weed before we had everything planted.  When I went to pull it out it was in bloom and very attached to the ground --- much more so than usual.  I did a little research:

Description:  opposing leaves, tiny purple flower, multiple flowers, red-purple-green, pointy leaves, square stem, holds onto ground, snakes through open space in yard, prefers cool, prefers damp, beings life cycle in fall, petiole connects leaf to stem, deep lines in leaf (my observations and study).

A Few Facts About My Weed (or wildflower --- it's all perspective)
  • called purple dead nettle
  • member of the mint family
  • prefer cool season
  • leaves oppositely arranged
  • leaves with pointed tip
  • smaller stem attaches leaves to main stem of plant (petiole)
  • better to try to control in the fall at the beginning of their cycle
  • spring end of life cycle

Similar Weed (wildflower)
  • henbit
  • member of the mint family
  • prefer cool season
  • leaves oppositely arranged 
  • leaves rounded with serrated edge
  • leaves directly attached to plant (no smaller stem connection)


  1. Weeds, weeds.... Again they can be compared to life...

    1. Ah, but Mom, life is full of flowers. :o) I'm reminded of this every time the first graders come in with a handful of dandelions after recess.

  2. What a great example of the connection between poetry and research, or poetry and science! It would be perfect for a multi-genre writing project. I have a vine weed that wraps around everything in my garden- amazingly, it's the first thing that comes up every single year!

  3. I had catmint at my old house, very hardy in the dry, hotspot by the front sidewalk, but it goes everywhere. I spend the summers cutting it back & out! You've reminded me of that with your 'weed', Cathy. I love that you did research & that it came from some transplants. There was another area in the yard where I brought some flowers from an aunt. It had strong field grass in it-very hard to get rid of! I like the way you began each stanza!

  4. Thanks for the promo at the end of every post! I come and read every day...I just don't always have time to comment!

    We've got a couple of invasives that we just try to keep corralled. We've resigned ourselves to ever getting RID of them!!


Poetry Month: The Last Poem 30 of 30

For the month of April, I'll be writing poetry each day in celebration of National Poetry Month.  I've decided not choose a theme, n...