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Alfie Leander
 (p109-limited quantity) $28.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As told by Maureen

Alfie Leander is a delight to me because of his philosophical humor.  He calls himself a Glorious Weeder.  Let me explain. Alfie Leander thinks that too many of the Pips (and people, too) put everything into neat little categories with stick‑on labels and their own tiny boxes with too‑thick walls. He thinks that it is good for all of us to sometimes be faced with rethinking these labels.  So he plants seeds.  All kinds of seeds.  In very unusual places.

 He carries with him wherever he goes a large patchwork shoulder bag made from remnants in Peterjon's scrap pile. Into this bag he puts seeds ‑ seeds gathered on his travels through the gardens and meadows and roadsides.  The seeds are all just plopped in together, no organization or separate bagging.  No labeling as to whether this plant grows best in wet soil or rich soil or shade.  No deciding if it is worthwhile because of its fruit or flower or the sheen of its leaves.

 He also carries with him in his back pocket a little trowel. With this he digs haphazard little holes near fenceposts or on a ditchbank or in a neatly planted vegetable garden.  Into each hole he plants a seed, just any seed drawn at random from his patchwork bag.  He makes few decisions other than that this would be a good place for a plant.  Then he goes his merry way, never returning to water or weed or prune.

 The results of his work can be seen everywhere.  There, along that fencerow is a 9 foot sunflower, dwarfing its wild daisy neighbors growing nearby.  Climbing the milkweed plant in that ditchbank is a cucumber vine, plump with succulent fruit.  And there on the edge of Twylah Jean's herb garden is a vigorous Jack O'Lantern pumpkin.  Does she leave it to grow or pull it out because it is not in its place?  Will its vigorousness or beauty or fruit persuade her to let it have its season?   Or will she pull it out so that the oregano will flourish?  Next time an unplanned "weed" shows up in your garden, think of Alfie Leander.

  1994, 2006 by Maureen Carlson
All designs and stories by Maureen  may not be reproduced in any way without expressed written permission.