Friday, March 6, 2015

They Know Where We Live, And They're Coming For Us by Patricia Forsythe

Southern Arizona, where I live, is a wonderful place, especially in the winter.  There are plants growing and blooming year-round.  Right now, the Texas Mountain Laurel, with its masses of purple flowers that resemble wisteria, fill the air with the scent of grape juice.  Texas sage, with magenta flowers, will bloom soon, along with African daisies.  In the desert, wildflowers like California poppies are out. 

Are you sensing a theme here?  These plants, so beloved by Arizonans, come from somewhere else.  Not content with our desert flora, we import plants from all over the world (and then wonder why they don’t thrive in our 110 degree and up summer heat). 

Lately, I’ve noticed we seem to be importing weeds I’ve never seen before, and they absolutely love my yard.  Last week I walked around the end of my house and saw a dandelion that could have doubled as a tree.  I pulled it up and threw it away for fear that it would soon want to move inside the house and would begin demanding bathroom and kitchen privileges.  Seriously, it looked like that blood-sucking plant from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. 

Then I began noticing other weeds I didn’t recognize, invasive species that don’t seem to know a thing about birth control.  A few today means hundreds tomorrow, enormous and fast spreading with root systems that go off in all directions and tunnel toward the earth’s core.  I’m beginning to wonder if they’re even from this planet.  Is it possible that we’ve spent all this time and money trying to keep out illegal aliens, and invaders from outer space, and the real threat is from weeds?  They see our innocent, unprotected yards and gardens and swoop right in.  Or maybe I’ve simply seen too many science fiction and horror movies, along with too many episodes of ‘Twilight Zone’.  Or maybe my writer’s imagination is working overtime.  Either way, these weeds are scary.

It’s true that I don’t have the greatest track record for growing plants, or even getting them to survive for very long.  When I walk into a nursery, I imagine the poor plants trembling in fear and saying, “Don’t take us home, lady.  Kill us here and let us die among our friends.”  Maybe the Evil Death Weeds From Mars think they have found a kindred plant-killing spirit in me.  Still, that’s no reason to target my yard as ground zero for their invasion.  But the rest of you don’t worry.  I’ll fight them with everything I’ve got – mostly a salt and vinegar solution.

Time to go.  I can hear them over by the garage – plotting their next move.

Patricia Forsythe is the author of many romances, both traditionally and electronically published.  Her next book will be Her Lone Cowboy, a Harlequin Heartwarming novel available in June 2015.  Visit her at

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  1. Yes I too had dandelions in my backyard. No time to pull them. And I found that they put a bright yellow note in the green lawn. But my neighbor would knock on our door when he spotted one. "Lady, pull it before it comes to MY place."

  2. That's funny. We don't have lawns in Arizona -- mostly just rocks, and now weeds.

  3. I read somewhere that a weed is just a plant in the wrong place - to which I say (with sarcasm) "yeah, right." Some weeds are just insane. If 'real' plants grew like that....

  4. I have a couple of "volunteer" trees that I hate. But I'm on deadline and despite them showing bud break, I'm not yet ready to wage a war to take out what is now a 6 foot tall tree in my shrubbery.

    1. I've got a couple of those, as well. Too big to dig out.

  5. I also live in southern AZ and know what Patricia is talking about. The weeds are growing up everywhere in my gravel yard. I wish my plants would grow that well. I brought plants with me from FL when we moved here two years ago. Sadly, many of them have expired. I'm afraid I don't know how to keep house plants alive in AZ. They thrived in FL without much work. However, my weeds are alive and well.

  6. LOL. I think my greatest horticultural achievement is growing weeds!