If hell has landscaping, I think it would look like my yard. You might think I’m over exaggerating but let me assure you it’s quite possible.
After the last threat of frost in spring, Dan planted our garden. He rototilled it and planted the seeds. Watering it and taking care of it. Then, as he does every summer, he got busy with work. Now it was my turn to tend to it. How’d that go, you ask? Not so good. I realized quickly that I’m just as skilled at remembering to water a garden as I am at remembering to take a pill. 2 days in my memory and then gone forever from my mind. My forgetfulness resulting in half the garden never germinating. The half that somehow survived my neglect was now being strangled by weeds. It was a horrific mess.
Since then, I’ve been trying to be more attentive. I really have. I pulled the weeds, apologized to the beans & broccoli and set up a timer to water them. But it takes more than good intentions to make a garden grow and in the end, I don’t think I have what it takes. The sprinkler I was using to water them (with the timer) got moved to try and preserve other parts of the yard and once again, the garden’s needs were forgotten.
Looking at my flower beds, it’s the same story. My ineptness even more apparent than in the vegetable garden. Plant life growing haphazardly. And I’ll admit it, my method of weeding is ridiculous. First I pull the most obvious intruders. Yes, there are some that even I can differentiate. With those gone, I turn to the questionable ones. I try staring at them really hard, as if somehow they’ll reveal their identity to me. When they don’t, I try looking at them through squinted eyes. I’ll touch them to feel their texture… do you feel like a weed? As if I have any idea what that feels like. Eventually, I’m left to decide their fate. Pull it or let them live a while longer? Considering the ratio of weeds vs flowers in my yard, I usually opt to pull it. Hoping I didn’t just slaughter one of the few flowers that remain.
I often wonder how flowers survive in the wild if they’re so incredibly needy and delicate? Aren’t we just creating wimpy plants by coddling them so much? Maybe I’m just trying to toughen up the species as a whole. They don’t take kindly to my inattentiveness though. The ones that don’t die, simply don’t thrive. Puny, pathetic and no blooms.
Part of the problem is that we have too much garden! The people that lived here before apparently really enjoyed it because they built 2 big raised gardens for vegetables. They weren’t built for the person who’s just trying to figure it out. They were built for the person that already knows it and can do it. Ergo, they weren’t built for me.
I keep thinking there has to be a solution. A way to both have a garden but not be the sole caretaker of it. Wouldn’t that be swell? Somebody that lives in an apartment, dying to work the earth… they’d love to come and play in mine. Wouldn’t they? I’d be doing them a service, they’d be giving me some of the vegetables that I long to eat. It’s a win win. Other than that, the only other answer I can come up with is a gardener that does pro bono work. Like the lawyers that take on sad cases for free, trying to do a little bit of humanitarian work. This gardener would be doing plantitarian work! A charitable service, not for me but to the organisms that live in my backyard. I think I’m on to something here. Finding a good-hearted horticulturist seems way more likely than me suddenly developing a green thumb.