My grandmother came to visit us for a week. The first thing, she looked at my garden and said, “My mother was a gardener; I was a gardener; your mother was a gardener. What happened to you?”
My garden is sad.
Most often, when I’m watering, I think of those cracked-earth dust bowl scenes from the Great Depression.
I had to apply for a refugee visa for my squash, who is fleeing to a neighbor’s vegetable plot.
These two squash were the same size when planted, but mine (left) is about ten times smaller than my neighbor’s (right).
Too many years of living in apartments has sucked all of my green thumb’s color dry. Also, my little minions love to run over plants with their dump trucks.
But it’s mostly me.
I killed a hydrangea. My fledgling spinach went to seed right away (which is how spinach gives you the finger–see below).
Doesn’t it look angry?
Half the basil went brown. My two tiny rosemaries have been accepted into Hospice. (Don’t be fooled by the green below–this plant has been getting smaller since I bought it a year ago.)
“You know,” my grandmother said, “a garden needs love.”
It’s hard to hear the truth, but there’s no one like your family to tell it.
My sister suggested that maybe I’m a hate gardener rather than a love gardener, because–in a really bad mood–I cut out every single blackberry tendril that was sucking the life from our yard. And I stood triumphantly on a tree stump, razor-sharp weapon in hand, surveying my kill.
There’s no tender touch here: This is more like Sherman’s March to the Sea.
But I think that’s what my yard needs right now. The ivy is encroaching on my position every day. A few really good bad moods and I’ll have pried that python off the yard’s neck using my favorite tools: shovels and shears and rage.
In the meantime, the tomatoes and peppers can continue their imitation of a vegetable ghost town.