If mint were worth a mint …

I’d be a billionaire.

Plants are very mysterious. When I moved into this house 18 years ago, there wasn’t any mint in the yard. There wasn’t any mint in the yard next-door, either. But now, oh my Lord, is there mint. It’s spearmint, a.k.a. Mentha spicata, and I don’t care what anybody says, it’s a freaking weed. I didn’t plant it, but if I could find out who did, I would sentence that person to be rolled in mint leaves until the smell made him or her pass out permanently.

I spent a good hour yesterday in the hot sun ripping spearmint out from around my venerable old azalea, which was drowning in the stuff. The branches–what are they, anyway? Not exactly branches–stems, I guess—were six feet tall. The plants spread underground via rhizomes and are impossible to eradicate. I rip and rip and rip, and because I happen to miss one tiny bit of root, by next year my azalea is drowning in spearmint again.

I don’t even like mint. I mean, I don’t like it in iced tea, I don’t like it in mint juleps, I don’t like it at all. Except in toothpaste. (Colgate regular, if you must know.) I don’t even chew gum. So far as I can tell, there’s no reason on earth for spearmint to exist. (Although there’s been some interesting research suggesting that it suppresses testosterone in women, and thus can help eradicate unwanted facial and bodily hair. But I digress.)

After I ripped out all that mint yesterday, I went around for the rest of the day smelling like a candy cane. My daughter kept sidling up to me and catching sniffs. She likes spearmint. I guess it’s good someone does, because glory me, I don’t.

Photo by Jonathunder licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.



  1. Marcia said,

    July 21, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Uh oh…I may be in trouble. Is it possible the mint that I planted years and years and years ago somehow made it’s way under 2 houses? If it makes you feel better I’m still ripping it out. It will never go away I’m afraid. I guess mint is like cockroaches…when the world ends they’ll still be running around and mint will probably still be growing.

    • mshingston said,

      July 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      Why is it always YOU?????

  2. Marcia said,

    July 21, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I’m sorry….I guess because I was here first?

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