Blood, sweat and tears. Wait, what I meant to write was: bugs, sweat and weeds.
This is what I hate about gardening. I said as much to my husband.
“That’s exactly why I don’t garden,” he replied.
“But I like tomatoes and herbs!” I whined.
“That’s what grocery stores are for,” he said. As usual, and as much as I hate to admit it, he had a point and it raises an important question: do I truly love gardening or do I love the idea of gardening?
Every year I begin my garden with visions of tomato plants and cilantro dancing in my head. I have the best of intentions. I’m going to keep it weed free, I’m going to prune and maintain. It’s going to be amazing! This year will be different! And then it invariably ends up looking like this:
I look at it and say out loud, “I really should do something about those weeds.” And then I go inside.
I bought Preen. Used it once. You can see how that worked. What a waste. Isn’t there a product out there that stops weeds permanently? Because I certainly don’t want to pull weeds on a regular basis. That’s a lot of work.
It doesn’t help that I am racked with guilt on top of my angst. My poor neighbor. He is so diligent with his little garden and I’m beginning to think he’s adding more tomato plants to block my beds of blight. He must curse me a lot. I have seen several cigarette butts amongst my Romas. Maybe he’s trying to set my garden on fire. Come to think of it, that would solve my weed problem.
I want to love gardening, I do! I tried growing pumpkins, once. It was a failure from the get go since the first rule of growing pumpkins is have a ton of space to grow a large crop like pumpkins. I knew this going in, so was it a huge surprise that the one dysmorphic pumpkin I managed to grow in 18 square feet was rotten and the squirrels ravaged it? It was a horror show on so many levels. I never tried that again because pumpkins from the grocery store are huge and cost five bucks.
Despite my lack of effort this year (and every year), my garden produced. The cherry tomatoes have been delicious and plentiful. The basil has flourished. For the first time ever, I had cilantro grow for longer than two weeks before shriveling up and dying a slow death. On the flip side however, my Roma tomatoes appear to be suffering in silence. Are tomatoes supposed to be in the shape of a tear drop? They seem to exemplify the garden’s droopy mood.
What’s up with the garden on the left, you may be asking. Our dog, Hank relieved himself in it a few times and I know enough about gardening to know that’s not a good place to plant stuff. The weeds don’t seem to mind, however. They don’t mind anything.
I envy the green thumb types who love to lose themselves in the act of gardening and have blogs to prove it. Maybe I could hire them to tend my garden. I just checked and TAKL.com offers this service. For $102, someone will gladly tend (well, maybe that’s premature as they haven’t seen my garden yet) a 200 square foot garden. Sheesh! For that much I’ll do it myself!
With that, I return to my original question: do I truly love gardening or do I love the idea of gardening? At this point I’d say neither.
You know, I really should do something about those weeds. Maybe next year.