-It’s been a few days since my last post, but with basil, zinnia, ageratum, petunia, and other seedlings still awaiting a permanent home, compost to screen, and weeds sprouting faster than my achy hands can pull them, my husband agreed to help out here with his point of view on living with a gardener – joene
Around here, gardening starts in March. No wait, it starts in February … No … make that …
Does it have a starting point? It sometimes seems that it’s gardening, 24 hours a day, every day of every month. I know that’s not completely true, but …
In spring the gardening machine goes into high gear. For the past couple of months, I’ve been reacquainted with the smells of fresh potting soil, the sight of black plastic containers of damp dirt – none of which is outdoors. I’m trying harder NOT to stub my toe on the plant rack, that I built, which is difficult to maneuver around because it must take advantage of a sunny window (in spite of being outfitted with three 4-ft grow lights).
As spring rolls into warmer and warmer summer weather, the tiny plants slowly make their way to larger plots of rich soil, and eventually greet the great outdoors. Therein the little fellows meet another set of challenges – be it the unseen subterranean voles or slimy slippery slugs. It just doesn’t stop. Maybe it’s draught, maybe it’s high wind, maybe it’s far too ubiquitous deer but these plants never seem safe.
With out a doubt, my wife is the gardener here. Our friends know it; our family knows it, and I’m not ashamed to say that I come to gardening through marriage. That’s not to say that I don’t participate. I help out here and there. But I don’t plant things and I try … I really try … not to unplant things. I don’t have, nor do I want, any gardening space to call my own … what would I do with such a space? I’m the helper, the laborer, the machine you call for a little extra lifting ummph, and I like it that way. I have helper tools – a shovel, rake, wheel barrel, ax, chainsaw, and now a new hoe, limb saw and my own orange-handled holy-edged-weapon-batman serious hori-hori knife.
Summer starts this month. Memorial day has passed. All the little seedlings have outgrown their cozy space under the lamps and have moved for a summer of outdoor living. The aroma of fertile soil is now outside, the plant rack is back in storage, and the gardens are taking on a fuller look. Some flowers have had their day and are ready for dead heading (see I’ve paid attention), others are yet to bloom. The cycle continues through the vegetable harvest when literally the fruits of labor come to the table.
For those who come to gardening on their own, none of this is new. You do this each and every year, all year, yourselves. You have lights, you have dirt, you have plastic thingy’s to grow in and you have a strong desire to create. For those who are not yet there – who are just starting out but wanting to be gardeners – those striving to achieve the type of gardens you’ve allowed yourself to dream of, this is what you, and those you share your home with, have to look forward to. Good luck and enjoy your creations as much as those who see it from the sidelines do.
My husband also has a keen eye through a camera lens, evident in the iris photo here and some of his other captures at http://ralphchappell.smugmug.com/.