Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gardening Pains

Ways Gardening Has Sort of Kicked my A**

1. Rain has rotted my roses.

2. Slugs have devoured my pansies. I poured salt on the slugs--like the leaches in "Stand By Me"--but salt actually just blanches and dries pansies. didn't know that.

3. Rabbits and chipmunks have severed my morning glories.

4. They have also devoured two pumpkin vines, one squash vine, two rows of lettuce, radishes, and an entire tomato plant.

5. Three planters filled with nasturtium, zinnias, and kitchen herbs actually didn't have drain holes, so rain has rotted their roots. Their leaves sag brown or blow away like transparent gray paper.

6. Rabbits have eaten half of my sedum and also half of the marigolds I planted around the sedum to protect it from the rabbits.

7. A storm whipped off a branch from my ash tree, and the branch landed on my potted impatiens.

8. I planted the ferns too late and in too much sun. They have withered into brown crumbs.

But! Ah, but! The potatoes and one tomato plant have not only survived but are enormous, are imposing, are promising far more harvest than I would have hoped. And rows of onion flourish despite our hardships.

So I have learned that gardening is far more about defensive tactics than about healthy soil and organic seeds--at least in my world. Gardening is about strong fences, wise research, careful evaluation of tools and goods. It's about protecting roots from rain and leaves from hot sun and from black-hearted, hungry critters.

And life is no different. And if these very real, very annoying gardening stories could be read as metaphors for our last several weeks, then I would say the lessons are the same. I must build strong fences to protect what's within. Research carefully to know what I face. Evaluate the tools I use, and improve them if they are not doing the job.

And celebrate what is flourishing.

The rains have hit us hard, and my god but those a**hole bunnies won't leave us alone. :) But we'll harvest some good crops next month, I am sure.