Weed on the Wild Side

2 GoodGymers made their way to help an isolated older person in Camden.

  • Sevan
  • Kash
Sunday, 6th of August 2023

Ms D confessed she had never had a garden before and didn't know what she was doing. When she moved to her new place in February, the back garden looked barren to her, all paving slabs and no greenery. Ms D decided to change it and sowed grass and wildflowers on a patch of soil in the middle of the backyard. While the paving slabs surrounding the green oasis were kept in immaculate shape, thanks to Ms D's helpful friend, the vegetation in the centre started going a little bit wild. The problem? What was a weed and what was a wildflower?

Ms D hired a pair of independent GoodGym consultants to make that distinction. She trusted them completely and was delighted that they made the effort on Sunday afternoon to work in her garden. Sevan and Kash believed the only good definition of a weed is:

the plant that you don't want.

Ms D was happy with all flowers that were not weeds, which resulted in a chicken and egg situation. Sevan and Kash had to use their own judgement. They would rather run a poll and ask plants whether they identify as weeds or wildflowers - but the vegetation wasn't too vocal.

The first obvious intruder was bindweed. It had played a key part in Sevan and Kash's GoodGym career, becoming the theme of their first trilogy Bound by Bindweed: Gothic, Panic and Manic. The GoodGymers didn't seem to carry any sentiment for bindweed and ripped it off, freeing the lawn and the rose bush. On Ms D's special request, a small plot of bindweed by the fence was intentionally left untouched. That was Ms D's grandson's little patch where he could practice his gardening skills and not end up as confused as his grandma if he'd ever become an owner of his own garden.

Sevan and Kash's opinions about other weeds were not so compatible. Sevan believed that if Ms D didn't have anything against dandelions, they should be left alone. Kash thought that there were too many of them which didn't look nice, so she dug them out. On the other hand, she wanted to keep tall yellow wildflowers she couldn't name. When she didn't look Sevan managed to pull out all of them, explaining later that they were not worth keeping, being a little bit spiky.

In the middle of the green oasis grew a bramble. Kash cut it down, then tried to dig out the roots as all problems with the brambles start with that single one that manages to root itself to the ground. The attempt was not successful. Kash was only successful in bending the tools which she had to fix. Without a big spade or big fork available, the bramble was there to come back.

Missy the Cat closely observed Sevan and Kash's work. Despite being old, calm and cautious, she seemed intrigued by gardening tools. They might have been quite a novelty to her. Sevan gained Missy's trust enough to stroke her when she was passing by. Kash came into contact with another animal that lived in the garden. While pulling the bindweed, she felt something cool jumping on her foot. A frog! Luckily, it had clean feet, so Kash didn't take offence.

Surprisingly, the GoodGymers finished the job earlier than 90 minutes and tried really hard to find themselves more work (without touching Ms D's grandson's territory). It was hard to believe that Ms D's garden didn't need more maintenance at the time. Sevan and Kash took out two massive bags of garden waste to the bin area, then made their way back to Ealing after their Sunday in Islington.

Report written by Kash

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