Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sticking to my Guns


I have abandoned the idea of having a garden this summer. Sort of. Well, to be honest, I revisit the idea several times a day and abandon it all over again with a lot of struggling and self-talk. In March, my vision was to expand our garden significantly from what it was last year now that the girls are old enough to help out and have more fun with it. I drew outlines, made lists of vegetables to plant, daydreamed about rigging up drip-systems and soaker hoses buried under the mulch. I called the local equipment rental shop to inquire about the cost of using a tractor for a day to till a huge plot, and I considered different ways to get rid of the sod in the spot where I envisioned my bountiful garden.


In March, it rained. April was monsoon season, and by May, I had still not managed to reserve a tractor or remove the sod, so I reluctantly put off the garden expansion until next year. The girls were getting excited about summer camps and they are in school until June 22nd, anyway, so I wasn't sure how much time we'd have to actually plant and weed and nurture our garden in the end. When Mother's Day dawned sunny and gorgeous and I was forced to begin filling the bird feeders on a daily basis to keep up with the ravenous appetites of our winged neighbors, I reconsidered. Again, after looking at the calendar for June - weekends full of birthday parties and Father's Day events and dance recitals - I put the garden aside for another year.


We have had two solid weeks of sunshine and hot weather. My peonies are the showiest they've ever been. The birds are staying away from my strawberries for once and the herb garden is growing out of bounds. Abundance surrounds me and instead of satisfying myself with that, I long to get my hands dirty planting snow peas and watermelon and cucumbers. Several times a day, I walk past the spot I've come to know as "the garden" on my way to the doggie septic tank. Each time I slow down and run options through my mind, trying to see a clear way to make the vegetable patch a reality this summer. Every time I have to force myself to remember that I put it aside in order to simplify my life this summer. I have a tendency to see any idle moment as something wasteful. The need to fill my days with activity and purpose is one I'm trying to overcome.


Instead, I will change my vision to one of me sitting on the back porch with a glass of pinot grigio watching the neighbor kids swoosh down the slip 'n' slide in our backyard, rinsing off the sticky residue from the Otter Pops they've just consumed. I'll take my kids to the local farmer's market to get our sweet carrots and cucumbers and we'll plan for next year. I think.

8 comments:

Kim said...

I strongly support the pino grigio on the porch vision. The soil will be there for you, ready and waiting next year!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Take two A's, Kari, one for the concept, another for the excellent writing.

Jenny Rough said...

Love the wine/porch vision too. Lovely, lovely...

Jerri said...

I'm down the with porch vision for this year.

But if you want a garden for NEXT year, here's a jump start for you: Come fall, cover the garden area with thick layers of newspaper (5 or 6 pages). Top that with black plastic and a thick (3 to 4 inches) layer of mulch. (Cotton burr compost would be a good choice.)

Next spring, pull up the plastic, and till the rotted newspaper and compost into the soil. Voila. No grass. No weeds. No deadly chemicals in your soil or leaching into the groundwater.

Let's review: this plan requires the winter months for the composting effect to take place. It doesn't begin until fall. You still spend in the summer on the porch with glasses of wine.

love.

Eileen said...

I love how you wrote this, it was just perfect. It almost made me feel like going out and start growing something...almost, I liked the idea of the wine much better. Plus, think of all the fun you and the girls will have at the Farmer's Market. I use to love to bring the girls there when they were younger, we'd call it our adventure. We would always come home with such good stuff. Either way you are in a win/win, and whoever said the dirt will always be there is 100% correct. XOXOX

Deb said...

I am a farmer's market convert and soothe my gardening guilt with the knowledge that I'm helping someone else fulfill their dream.

This is a beautifully expressed conflict with having to choose.

Love.

kario said...

Thanks, Ladies! I'm getting more comfortable with the vision of wine on the porch, too.

Jerri, I should have known you would have a terrific idea for preparing the soil - I'm on it as soon as the girls go back to school.

Maybe I'll use our time at the Farmer's Market to expand my photography skills...hmmm, there's an idea!

Michelle O'Neil said...

Good for you. Don't fill up all that time. Breathe, and relax and let someone else grow your healthy produce, at least for this year.

Enjoy your life!

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