For me the last couple of months have represented a complete re-discovery of life via the garden. Gradually, as the secrets of plants and minibeasts unfold I feel a curiosity and zest for life that has been missing for some time now.
The saying goes that ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’, but for me right now it is both a terrifying and wonderful thing. I know I’m ignorant, but I don’t really care, because I’m embarking on an exciting journey of ‘finding out’ and I couldn’t be happier.
But what has Cynodon Dactylon got to do with it?
I know it as Couch Grass, but according to Weeds Australia it is also known as Bermuda grass, Florida Grass and Twitch Grass. It is listed as native to both Australia and Africa and I know it isn’t just a problem here. I noticed in my local hardware store that it is sold as a hardy lawn for Australian conditions and particularly good if you have dogs. Every garden in my neighbourhood seems to have a Couch Grass lawn, but not every garden has a dog.
Couch Grass is a known garden escapee and a problem in many natural reserves in my area. It spreads by sending out great long runners and according to Kenneth Thompson in his book ‘Weeds: How to Deal with Plants that Behave Badly’, researchers once measured a runner at a whopping 145 meters. That is a plant truly on a mission to take over.
But for me Cynodon Dactylon, it is the plant that laid down the challenge and asked the question ‘Do you really care enough to take me on?’ It is now the plant I am spending the most time with (followed by that dratted Ivy!) and I am not just pulling out, I am finding out about it and I feel alive!
You never know, if I manage to contain Cynodon Dactylon one day, I may even feel that I have earned the right to call myself a formerly lazy gardener.