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.


  1. Daring to stay. Looking forward to the discoveries.

    1. This is brave of you to stay. I know for a fact that in the week to come I talk about a goal by Messi, the downfalls of shelving non fiction, lady gaga and taoism, and many, many times about my being a prophet of god. There is not a single update, in all those posts, on my gardening.

      And yet, here, writing a response to you late at night, part of my mind is on the rain outside, the falling temperatures, and the seeds in the ground a few blocks from here, my seeds. And perhaps that is the mysterious thing about a garden for even a somewhat hapless gardener such as me, the seeds are planted simultaneously in the ground as they are also planted somewhere in me. And we who grow anything are spread a little through the world.

      I still feel pretty sure everything is going to die though.

      And I'm going to spend too much money on tomato varieties next weekend. Started plants because none of my tomato seeds grew! By the end of August I will have a billion tomatoes.

    2. Oh, so thankful for the comments.... Posting anonymously is challenging b/c I am notified of the responses back to me. Luckily I caught this one.

      A billion! I will be happy if the little plants I bought last weekend survive to the ground and then survive to August and yield 100 tomatoes. And, I worry that they won't even make it that first step. They need to hang in there one more week til planting. But, perhaps the many wild turkeys I keep happening upon will use their spirit power to help them....

    3. I wish your tomatoes well. I have planted some tomatoes I bought this weekend and planted them, but I fear some incoming cold. They looked good tonight though. I was unable to procure any good small tomato varieties and will have to hit up my local nursery for those in the next week or two.

      The many wild turkeys may have something even more valuable than spirit power to give to your garden or mine... I understand turkey manure is a rich and valuable addition to garden soil.


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