The Comfrey Has Fallen! The Comfrey Has Fallen!!!

Michaele AlexanderOur Yarden

Do we have roving mustangs or antelope leaping into our Yarden over our aging five foot cedar fence? Panthers? Wildebeests??? The Yarden swallowing, behemoth 4’ to 5’ diameter comfrey plants who had gone from sweetly sticking up out of last year’s leaf debris to sprouting appendages reminiscent of the imported teak serving platters that hit the west coast in the early 70’s and adorning themselves with gorgeous delicately dangling bee attracting purple flowers (just so we wouldn’t do more than contemplate hacking them back “later”) were flattened from the inside out. And it wasn’t pretty.

These vibrant specimens were mashed over like some untidy crop circle. Maybe a teensy alien spacecraft was practicing crash landing and wanted a soft place. It left me wondering if our dogs had nested in the comfrey like wild critters are want to do, making a comfy bed out of a plant. But it would have taken a bit of doing for them just to get in there in the first place. Heck, the plants towered over their heads. Our cat could fit on a dainty tea cozy so certainly it couldn’t have been him. Besides, he fancies sleeping under the raspberries. Always has. Nope, must be the tiny space aliens. And not a one was spared.

Then I realized it was a plot. These cunning plants grew, and grew and grew until they could grow no more and then, in a conscious attempt to take over the Yarden, had flung themselves outwards in a grand radius hoping to cast their seeds farther afield. “Comfrey tea!” My battle cry could be heard far and wide (if you were in my head that is). Something had to be done. It was sooo untidy. Besides, one of them was smack dab in the middle of the wandering walkway I had planned through the eventual “food forest” to the back door of the greenhouse.

But, as it turns out, the beautiful creatures have so much to offer in addition to the conspicuous takeover of our Yarden. Their leaves make great blankies for other plants in the winter. We can potentially make poultices out of them for boo boos. I was informed that they are all important “nitrogen fixers”, whatever that means. And my husband says they have to stay because their roots are huge and we’ll never get them out. So, much to my lament, we are stuck with them pretty much where they are.

But there remains the matter of the one in the intended walkway. This is serious business. In my mind a graceful archway trellis is to be erected off the dog’s (they are kind enough to share it with us) grassy area, curve gently through the Yarden and culminate in another such arch (expanded with a slight “V” shaped flair to accommodate holding up the blackberry vines) on a path that leads to the door of the greenhouse.

But there it stands. Resolute. Splattered across the path. And several other plants. What’s a Yardener to do? Perhaps I should consider constructing a little bridge there…