Saturday, 16 July 2011

Root maneouvers

You may remember my concern about that rabidity of mint in a previous post. This brief epilogue concentrates on the method behind the minty madness. Roots.

It's no surprise that for a plant to dominate its roots have to be both strong and clever. Without nutrients they will die, and it follows that they really should do anything to make sure they survive, that they get to the nutrients first lest someone else make more out of it than they do.

Today, that aforementioned patch of garden mint finally destroyed the other herbs and was in the process of destroying itself. Time to dig up and start again.

Rotting from the bottom to the top
As I reflected on just what mint had managed to achieve in this crowded container, my thoughts turned yet again to just how News of the World has managed to poison our society whilst remaining in many eyes something to be proud of (witness the final print day defiance of ex NOTW staff in front of their adulating peers). Could it be that mint offers a close to home understanding and reminder of how we should consider not just the NOTW but the print press in general?

Here is a herb that has a reputation for spreading quickly that it takes in all in its path. Dominating without apology, justifying itself simply by the need to have it.

I, of course, wanted it. It lifts a dreary meal, spices up a summer drink and is just something that I had always grown up with. In truth, it despite us gardeners knowing how invasive it is has a reputation carefully honed on the access to us given by ice cream makers, after dinner confectioners and pea chefs over the years. Keeping its methods hidden only until one stops to consider the extent of its influence:

Mint roots

I was genuinely taken aback at the size and reach of these roots. No wonder everything else cowered in the face of this insidious herb.

My mint has been destroyed, I will be replanting herbs next weekend with some care and thought (not least to work out if I can grow through the autumn). If monitored properly I do hope I can have my mint and not let it ruin the lives of other herbs.

I don't often like to get serious on this blog, but discovering what was going on in that soil, does make me think that unless we have proper transparency about what goes on - who politicians and police meet, when, why and what they talk about, and a proper debate about whether journalists and media outlets are indeed uncovering the truth or just selectively creating narratives however honestly intended, then we are only ever going to remain addicted to society's equivalent of mint whilst it spreads its ever invasive and powerful roots through the compost of Westminster and beyond.

I promise to find my humour again soon, and to take your mind off it all a little tune to lift your spirits and take you back to the title:

1 comment:

Hanzy said...

try thyme, sage, rosemary, curry, oregano, marjoram, parsely. All growing well chez Mackie and all used regularly - garden centres are doing most of their potted herbs at half price too!

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.