Monday 26 May 2014


I hate the first day of gardening!

I know that there are people who spend the long, cold months looking through seed catalogues, sharpening and polishing their garden tools and visualizing the perfect placement of each and every plant. I don’t know what to say about those people, insanity comes with many different disguises.

I am a reluctant gardener and although I can take some pride in the garden when the season is over, the beginning is more of a pain than pleasure. I have to turn the soil over and break up the lumps. I understand that if I had good soil there wouldn’t be any lumps to break up. I toss in compost from one of the two compost bins I have and I think it’s good for the plants. I haven’t heard any complaints.

The worst part for me is picking what to plant. I guess I should clarify that I am talking about a vegetable garden because the flowers will look after themselves. They don’t, but whose fault is that? Anyways, I try to pick things for the garden that are edible and won’t disappoint at the end of the season. They also need to be relatively easy to look after and of course they need to be able to take a certain amount of abuse and dog urine. Carrots have never disappointed, but tomatoes and lettuce have. Tomatos either don’t ripen on the plant or there are so damned many that I can’t bear looking at a tomato until well after Christmas. Lettuce can be nice, but it is a pain to get ants and their grubby little friends off the leaves.

One year I planted beets and they did really well! I pretty much hate beets. I do like to plant peas in the hopes that the grandkids will marvel at being able to pick food right from the stalk, vine, or green growy thingy. I guess if I had a double bubble gum tree we would have much more excitement. I planted corn one year…pathetic! The sunflowers look really cool, but never seem to make it all the way to maturity before the first killing frost. That can be sometime mid-August some years.

I have had a lot of luck with rhubarb and chives over the years, and if anyone wants some year old, frozen rhubarb or a fistful of chives, just let me know. I can’t stop those fuckers from growing. This year I have planted potatoes in the hope that the saying “Out of sight, out of mind.” will work its magic for the potatoes. Water and sun, how can I go wrong? I am also trying peppers and cucumbers this year. I have grown these in years past, but I stopped for some reason. I’m sure the reason will become painfully apparent by the beginning of August.

Years ago I planted some of those decorative gourds that you see around Halloween. I find gourds endlessly fascinating in colour, shape and utter uselessness. I suppose I could make a small ladle out of them or if I was lucky maybe there would be one that looked like Elvis or Christ. That would be something! Pumpkins are cool, but they kind of take over the yard as well as the garden and no matter how cool they are, they seldom look like anyone famous.

Well, I suppose I had best get at it, disappointment doesn’t grow on trees…or does it?

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