Worth The Weeding

The weeds are getting their way in some plots, sagging on best intentions like the muggy Monday air. It’s evening on the opening day of August.

“You’d think there would be more people out here taking care of things, but it’s hot and I don’t blame them,” said Sherry.

She was among the stalwarts, digging and pulling to stay on top of her tract at the community garden on the edge of Glover Archbold National Park at New Mexico Avenue.


Tending her plot on a hot and humid summer evening at the community garden at New Mexico Avenue and 42nd Street in Glover Park. Photos Credit: John A. Bray

“There’s nothing like picking a cucumber off the vine and eating it,” she says, “even though it’s a pain in the neck to do the weeding.”

The Bronx, N.Y.-born gardener said she’s had back surgery and must take care in her gardening and angles of attack in removing the weeds. “But you spend a couple of hours, and you’ve got them out, and you look at it and it feels good. It’s therapeutic.”

She began in the community garden nearly 30 years ago with a plot at the bottom of the sloped terrain, near the edge of the woods.

“As the trees grew, I knew I’d start to get shaded,” she said. After about 10 years, she moved up to a place of more certain sunshine, a spot freed by the passing of its tender, who had been “mayor” of the botanical polis.


A “cherry bomb” hot pepper on its way to a red ripening.

She said the community is “very international. That’s why it’s so much fun.”

The theme extends to her choice in plants, the hot peppers at least. “I don’t like them,” she said.

They’re for the staff at the high-rise where she lives, people who come from all over the world and have the taste.

“I started growing the hottest peppers I could find for them,” she said, naming the “cherry bomb” and “Trinidad scorpion.”

Another ambition remains in the works.

“I try for peas every year, but I never get them.”

&copy 2016 John A. Bray