This post from Blair Hobbs reminds me of why I love gardening. Just this week, Blair agreed to become one of our regular contributors to share her views on being mother, creator, business person, lover of food, gardener and woman of the new south.

I know it’s spring when Mrs. Gary’s field is a snowdrift of little white flowers. Up close, these weeds are star-shaped, and they blanket the lazy lawns of our neighborhood in Oxford, Mississippi. But there are lawns on South 11th Street where these weeds don’t wake. There are yards that are not lazy and are tended by hoards of gardeners from places like Azalea Happenin’s nursery. These gardeners show up after the first frost and get busy on whatever is trying to sprout. These gardeners-for-hire crank up with their loud mowers, weed whackers, and ghost-buster leaf blowers. They prune the Crape Myrtles and Knock-out roses; they blow brown-and-fallen holly leaves from beneath the trimmed boxwood. They also show up with birth control for the Zoysia, and the growing grass remains pure and green and perfect.

Come spring, what grows in my family’s yard does not grow in those more manicured lawns of our neighborhood, and this makes me sad. I like weeds. I like the craggy dandelion leaves, the fragrant stronghold of honeysuckle, the pom-pom clover, and this little yellow flower that now feathers throughout our rain-sodden grass. I don’t know the name of this weed, but the blossoms are precious. They remind me of the small woolly balls that peel up from my favorite cardigan’s sleeves after a long winter’s wear.

Here is Blair’s Bio:

I was born in Oxford, MS in 1964 and moved to Auburn, Alabama when I was three. My dad was dean of Arts and Sciences at the University and my mother was an art professor. I am married to John T Edge, and we have a fabulous seven-year old son, Jess. I teach writing at the University of Mississippi (have an MA in Creative Writing from Hollins College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Michigan). I am a collage artist and painter, and I always weave words into the content of my canvases. At home, I enjoy cooking, eating, patting the cats, reading, writing, laughing, tending the window boxes, and watching some trashy television.

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