The Dreaded Garden Creeper

Shortly after purchasing my house, I had some relatives over to peruse the place. They expressed the proper “oohs” and “aahs” regarding the hardwood floors, original windows and such. Then we headed outside to the backyard. It was there that my aunt, ever vocal, exclaimed “You’ve got the Creeper!”. Yes, indeed, my lawn was covered in patches of the dreaded garden creeper, creeping Charlie.

Creeping Charlie is considered a weed by many (a weed being anything that grows where you do not want it to). As a new homeowner, I took this weed classification seriously. I felt it extremely important to eradicate this vicious invader from my property, and went at it as such. Because an immaculate lawn devoid of any unsightly invaders is a sign of a good homeowner, right?

See it in there? The dreaded creeper. Actually, bees love the purple flowers it eventually produces!

Well, I tackled that dreaded creeper, spending many quiet hours outside dedicated to the task. Painstakingly teasing the trailing vines from each patch, I thrilled with each long plant pulled. Many the time I would get distracted from a task after seeing a patch working its way into a garden bed or onto the sidewalk. Soon I would conquer this thing, gosh darn it! And I would do it all without the use of nasty chemicals, because I am an environmentalist that way.

While weeding, I would contemplate, as is my tendency when trying to control natural invaders. Eventually I came to the conclusion that these efforts were kind of a silly waste of time. I had justified the hand weeding as saving money and not using nasty chemicals. But did I really need to get rid of the Dreaded Garden Creeper that is creeping Charlie? What was it harming? Actually, why get rid of a low-growing green ground cover that did not need watering or mowing? Why care about what others thought about my lawn? Would I rather not spend time reading on the lawn, instead of weeding it?

Straddling the line of the sidewalk. It is like it knows where to stop so I won’t pull it.

Turns out I WOULD rather be reading than spending time battling a harmless weed. Actually, there were lots of things I would rather be doing than weeding the lawn…such as weeding the flower beds (the lawn is one thing – my plants are a different story). Instead of focusing on achieving a perfect lawn – which would really be for other people – I chose to do what makes me happy. Creeping Charlie is now just another part of our yard, one that does not waste my time and energy. Because, really, things like that are not worth it in the long run.

Too far into the flower bed. This vine lasted until the picture was taken. The Peony is safe!

So, unless it creeps to close to my plants, I let the vine be. There are other things in life that are more important to spend time on than eradicating nature. At least, until the Japanese Beetles come back – then the game is on. Because sometimes you cannot help but focus on something irrational…speaking from experience.

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