Sometimes I get the feeling I have tended my garden much too long


One thing you must understand about gardens is that they are relentless in their demands. Plants don’t care about what you want or need because they are incapable of such emotions, or any emotions. They are pretty much at the gardener’s bequest in terms of survival.

So, water them after you have provided them with a benevolent and fertile medium into which to extend their roots and they are as happy as – well, as happy as plants can be. They grow and produce flowers – the blooms are actually their naughty bits, designed to produce fruit of some sort so that they can reproduce their kind.

Sadly, if we ignore them they do one of two things. They either die – or they spread in profligate manner. Of the latter reality we have cornflowers that know no limits to their spreading, likewise grape hyacinths, and those silly silver-dollar plants.

To keep your plants prolific, you must weed, you must cultivate, you must prune, you must do a lot of backbreaking toil or you will never make it into the pages of Better Homes and Gardens.mememe

Our garden is looking good this year. Thanks to benevolent weather and with testament being borne by the scars from thorn lacerations on my arms it damn well better look good. That’s because I am still in ‘give a shit’ mode. In normal years the delights of the home botanical patch begin to pale by about August and most home gardeners are quite prepared to let the stuff go to seed, get dried out and, hopefully, harvest a few veggies. Otherwise, and again in normal years, at that time I am prepared to say “Your on your own, botanical stuff.”

This year, the year of the great no-winter and the year in which spring was largely passed by and we went into summer in early June, things are different.

I said to Wendy the other day that the tomato plants don’t seem to be moving along particularly brilliantly in terms of fruiting up. She pointed out when I made the statement that it was only mid-June. In ‘normal’ years the plants would have only been in the ground for a couple of weeks if we’d followed the normal May 24th dictates for tender plants. Those year, of course, they went into the ground weeks earlier.

Gardening equals exercise which equals tired small person.

Gardening equals exercise which equals tired small person.

What this is likely to mean is that I’ll get into gardening ennui by the beginning of July rather than the beginning of August. Come July I am going to start thinking a number of things like:

– we should move into an apartment and not have to worry about the garden at all. Just have potted plants in the house.

– we should go off on vacation and forget about tasks that need to be seen to out in the yard.

– we should just pave the whole damn thing over.

– we should be more accepting of the fact that we are at the advent of a major climate shift and start planting palms, Joshua trees and cacti.

– we should no longer worry about watering and just let everything dry up and blow away like tumbling tumbleweeds.

Yet, then I look outside and think, it all looks pretty damn nice and I do have some watering and fertilizing to do.


5 responses to “Sometimes I get the feeling I have tended my garden much too long

  1. Good for you for having the gumption. I’m thrilled we don’t have any yard to speak of in town (and it’s full of lily of the valley so it takes care of itself and it’s pretty much the only thing that will grow there). As for the cottage it’s in the middle of the woods, no way am I going to try and reclaim those woods for a garden. And frankly, all this makes me deliriously happy. Gardening would make me miserable.

  2. Congrats to you for creating some beauty on your patch.

  3. I pay someone to tend mine!

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