Seen close up, it doesn't look so bad. Johnny jump-ups are always pretty, of course, and the light green leaves of the mint set them off.
When you take a step back, though, it's much worse:
That's the northern edge of the newer half of my plot, and it's infested with mint. And I'm having flashbacks to the summer of 1996 or 1997 when the opposite side--the southern edge of the older half of my plot--looked just the same, a tangle of mint and Johnny jump-ups. I remember all the effort it took to rip the mint out, to follow the trailing roots to the next offshoot, my fingernails caked in dirt, and the frustration I felt when I saw a patch that had popped up somewhere else. "It's trying to rule the world," I despaired to anyone who would listen. (I wonder if they were calling me the "crazy mint lady" behind my back.) And then I cursed the friends who had planted it.
I wrote about my hatred of mint almost exactly a year ago, at some length, I must admit, and it is humbling to be back and saying the same thing. Last year, I might have said that by now, I'd have vanquished the mint. Or, at least, gotten rid of enough of it so that when I got to the garden, I didn't have to stop and heave a heavy sigh at the mere sight of it.
But alas, here I am again, cursing the mint.
After I took those photos, I began to rip the patch of mint out. I didn't get all that far--just a token gesture, really. But that's all you can really do with the mint. You can curse it and call it all the names you want, but it will just keep spreading, and you will just keep ripping it out.
I haven't planted any corn poppies at my house. On the one hand, I think they'd look lovely scattered across my lawn, but I fear that then I would never mow the lawn, and I'm already not the world's most diligent lawn mower to begin with. It's certainly possible that I'll change my mind about that, though.
But I can safely say that I'll never change my mind about mint. I don't care that it is nice in drinks, or in salads, or in Indian food. (There are even mint-flavored potato chips in India, which is not one of the better potato chip flavoring decisions, in my opinion.) It is a garden menace, and I'm not letting it anywhere near my house or my yard or my cats. Perhaps I should find a place to hang a proclamation of the "There Shalt Not Be Mint," variety.
In the meantime, I will go to the community garden, and I will sigh and swear as always, and then I will crouch down and begin the Sisyphean task of pulling out the mint once more. What else is there to do?