Herb Robert—A Smell That Could Kill Someone

I don’t consider myself a gardener, however, nature forced my action.

If you saw last week’s photo, you know the roses are in bloom.

Winter forgot us this year. Warm, wet, windy weather mixed with spectacular sun breaks brought another visitor to our yard. Herb Robert. Like the Roman armies of old, Geranium Robertianum marched across our yard.

An ocean of lacy green leaves with small pink flowers covered the forest floor. Conquered by shooting seeds 15 to 20 feet beyond its root base. An expeditious enemy—with an unseen weapon.

We shall take no prisoners.

We shall take no prisoners.

We wanted our woodland yard back.


On my hands and knees in the warm sunshine, digging up roots, the weapon not released until I tugged the plant from the ground.

A distinct, pungent, peppery, oily odor waft through the air with the power of a startled skunk. An effective weapon against the faint of heart. “Stinky Bob” cracked the Kraken.

After 30 minutes power weeding, sweating, burning tears, and sneezing forced a break. But I will not be broken.

If you’ve ever crossed the border into Canada, the Customs Agents among their many questions generally ask you these three:

Where are you coming from?

How long have you been there?

Where are you going to?

This is where I came from: One-third acre of vegetal vengeance.

Sulfur springs smell better than this stuff.

I lost a garden gnome in there somewhere. Don’t worry little fellow, we’ll rescue you.

I’ve been there for four weeks and counting.

This is where I’m going . . . a yard free of “Stinky Bob”.

Freedom to breathe.

Freedom to breathe.

I’m sure the yard waste haulers love collection day at our house—a Hockey player’s gym bag smells better.

May your weekend battle be won with determination. May your coaxing be tempered with sunscreen. May it smell of roses or barbecue or pizza. May you wake-up Monday morning celebrating a victory without too many battle scars.

And whatever you do, avoid the stinky stuff. The nose you save may be your own.

Now where did I put the Benedryl . . . .



About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
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6 Responses to Herb Robert—A Smell That Could Kill Someone

  1. Liz says:

    Wowza, you are ambitious! I am worn out just reading of your experienced, Tracy. Though I suppose it has to be done so you have to do it. Forward march! And stop by my place for (virtual) good and drink when you need refreshment 🙂


  2. aplscruf says:

    Sniff…I feel your pain!


  3. kerbey says:

    I have never heard of such a thing. I thought all geraniums were nice. When I googled it, it said it was AKA Death Come Quickly. Yikes!


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