Saturday, May 9, 2015
Gardening and me
It has turned out to be impossible for a man with my brownish-gray-green thumb to grow a proper garden in my yard. The skies of summer are soon heavily sketched over with a sprawling foliage of an oddly unbalanced oak tree and a towering pine tree that has waxed fat off of our sewage line. Every couple of years we have a sewer man come grind out our sewer pipe, driving a massive whirring blade through gluttonous pine tree roots. The pine tree is unphased by this, and it is now over 400 feet tall. At this point, gardening-wise, I mostly grow fruiting things that thrive yet bear no fruit (no raspberries, no grapes, and no apples). Most of our hostas do well and our creeping charlie is blossoming in purple even as I write this.
But a few blocks over from the house of my wife and I is the second oldest victory garden in the nation. We learned this fact at our orientation, an orientation we attended because we have obtained a plot there. The oldest Victory Garden in the nation is somewhere on the east coast. Our orientation host cast aspersions on this garden in the east, though I can't remember what those aspersions were. The upshot was that while our Victory/Community Garden isn't technically the oldest in the nation, by any of the really important standards it pretty much is.
We have already put a good deal of preparatory work into our sunny patch of land in this historic garden. And as composts and weedings and early seeds make their way into our plot I am finding much of my characteristic emotional relationship to the world expressed in my feelings of hope, anticipation, and despair surrounding the prospects of this garden.
I am fully convinced that our garden plot is going to provide so many glorious, sweet, and strangely wonderful heirloom tomatoes, peas, herbs, melons, onions, raspberries, and greens of all kinds that I will hardly know what to do with them all.
And I am equally sure that no seed will sprout, nothing will grow, and everything that does grow will wither and blacken on the eve of bearing fruit.
All my prodigious life experience tells me that something in between these two will happen.
But what is that to my feelings, which, while utterly blind as prophets, are nevertheless free of all time and faultless.
Inherent contradiction be damned, you will watch those feelings all come true, right here, should you dare to stay for the summer.