It’s been a rainy couple of weeks as passing Caribbean instabilities have dumped buckets of water on us, over twelve inches worth.

In that time, it’s difficult to get to my garden, but today, I finally was able to survey the damage. Sigh, it was as I thought, weeds everywhere, choking off my Genovese basil, Puerto Rican cilantro, peppers, and pumpkin squash.

Creeping vines had reached up and entwined the delicate basil, pulling them down until they were nearly horizontal. It is hard sometimes to see the weeds, because they wrap themselves so completely, disguising and supplanting the foliage along the way to match the victim.

I donned army boots, old jeans, a workshirt, and a pair of gloves and waded into the tangled mess. It’s frustrating trying to grow anything because the weeds are so prolific. They reach up and snatch whatever I try to plant, and whatever I plant seems just to yield in the face of assault. Better to give up trying and just die.

I began pulling out the viney weeds first, coaxing and wiggling the tendrils loose and then lifting the mass up and over.

In the midst of the mess, all that can be done is to protect yourself the best you can from the molesting bugs, the wet dirt, and the prickly weeds and begin pulling one by one. I sat down in the shade and the mud and attacked first a little corner, a small patch of mixed basil and cilantro. As I brushed by my plants I was rewarded with the most delicious aroma.  Man, if I could only bottle this stuff as perfume. Oh my God, it was a beautiful smell.

Bit by bit, the morivivi, a thorny irritating weed, the creeping vines and assorted grasses gave way and I began to see my plants again. I will have to see if the basil will survive, though. They are delicate and took the harshest beating. The peppers fared a better, but after pulling the creeping vines from them I saw they had hardly any of their own leaves.

The Puerto Rican cilantro fared the best, its leaves standing big and strong and green.