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Tag Archive: Cheryl Tevis

Apr 13

Could April be the cruelest month?

“April is the cruelest month” – T.S. Elliott

Admit it, don’t we usually think lovely thoughts about the month of April? We don’t think of it as cruel at all. We think about the advent of spring, sunshine, flowers, the opening day of baseball season and the end of the school year finally in sight.

Yes indeed, all good thoughts about the month of April.

But not so fast, I guess I don’t think that way. Here is what I mean.

Yesterday, as I was leaving Wal-Mart with both arms loaded with jugs of weed killer, so much that I had trouble carrying them, I walked with a spring in my step. I was actually giddy at the fact that I was about to tackle April weeds and could not wait to get on with the task.

True I was excited, but it was not about the glories of April, it was about destroying, no annihilating April weeds, those cruel, remorseless, persistent, mean and nasty wild noxious things that pop up everywhere this time of year. Believe me, they can inflict pain and anguish and bring about great suffering for gardeners.

Once, I was so distressed about spring weeds that I wrote an entire column on the horrors of Creeping Jenny, thistles and trumpet vines. What can I say, I live in the country, and we know about these things.

All right, I realize I might hear from weed lovers and that there could possibly be a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Weeds out there somewhere in the world, but please don’t write me about that.

By now you may be wondering how I got started on this rant?

I was reading the April issue of Successful Farming when I saw the headline “War on Weeds” in a screaming bold all caps font. Naturally, I flipped right to the story and read with great interest every idea they put forth about killing weeds (I am always looking for a new way to whip them into submission).

Not far from that article was another one just as interesting. Cheryl Tevis, farm issues editor, wrote quite the convincing piece about how April is the cruelest month in her opinion. She explained how April weather teases us and asked her readers, “How many times have you felt the stirrings of spring, only to be yanked back into the throes of winter?”

She bemoaned the ritual of spring housecleaning that arrives in April along with the rainy, mud season that afflicts many locales. Tevis also lamented the fact that the asparagus isn’t ready yet in April, nor are strawberries or rhubarb, with which I totally agree.

So there you have it, Tevis’s reasons and mine for why April could be indeed the cruelest month of the year, although for me, the invasion of April weeds trumps them all.

When I finished writing this article, I looked out my window only to discover unhappily that I missed quite a lot of chickweed, and oh no, Creeping Charlie and a large patch of clover, both of which will choke out the grass and take over my flower garden.

Cruel April, this is war! Somehow, I don’t think I am winning.