Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why I don't garden.........

I just adore the signs of spring cropping up all over my soggy Pacific Northwest yard. Besides the puddles and sodden grass, there are some honest-to-goodness signs of spring out there. Pink and purple hyacinth. Yellow daffodils. Slightly paler yellow miniature daffodils. Crocuses, which popped up IN the grass this year. We all thought it was an odd coincidence until we learned that Jeff actually planned it that way (and I'm not gonna lie - it's kinda weird). I'm sure there are other plants and foliage growing which I know nothing about and cannot pronounce the names, because I am not a gardener.

I really believe there are two types of people - those who garden and those who buy their flowers wrapped in cellophane for 9.99 at Safeway. I fall into the latter category and I am unapologetic. I am good at many things but gardening is not one of them. For one thing, there's all that dirt. Who wants to get dirt under their fingernails? Not me. I don't even like getting my hands dirty eating pizza, therefore I use a fork. And my kids make fun of me for it.  But nothing's stuck under my nails. Then, there is the backbreaking work of making little ditches or divots in which to put seeds that often (annoyingly) don't even sprout up! And if they do actually sprout, you have to water and weed them. It's like having a bunch of demanding toddlers. No thanks, I had a few live versions of those and I'm glad I lived to tell about it.

I just cringe when I hear people talking in "garden-speak". You know, "well my peas aren't sprouting as they should yet - do you think it's the cold snap?" or "I was thinking of some annuals along that fence right there - what do you think of cosmos/camellia/chrysanthemum/crocus/chive/crapIcan'tthinkofanymore?" I do not know the difference between an "annual" and a "perennial" and how they relate to gardening. To me, an annual refers to a doctor's visit I'd rather avoid each year. And "perennial" spelled slightly differently, and pronounced with a different emphasis, refers to a part of my anatomy that I'd rather avoid talking about at that doctor's visit I like to avoid. You can see where I'm going here. I know nothing about gardening.

I have been known to pull up "good" plants thinking they were weeds and I may or may not have watered artificial flowers at some point in my life. I don't mow the lawn and have only done so once in my life when I traded chores with my brother (I quickly switched back - who was I kidding? Mowing is messy!). I do enjoy helping with the aeration once in a while, because it's fun to hop on that pogo stick contraption and it's a good workout. I have no idea why one aerates, though. It results in little dog poop looking things all over the lawn which is pretty unsightly.

Sometimes I accompany my husband to the nursery and I pick out plants that are "pretty" with no regard as to whether they will grow in our climate. I know what I like to look at and that's it. Don't ask me what kind of soil or nutrients a plant needs. I did honestly try to learn once and had a very long conversation with a woman who had me buy some type of pearly balls to shake all over my flower beds. I don't know if it made any difference. I do know that those little shakers of wildflowers (which look so handy) do not work - they never grow! It might have something to do with the fact that I forget to water them, but still.

I know my favorite flower is a Gerbera daisy and I know how to cut floral stems under running water at an angle. I can arrange flowers in a vase. And that's where my gardening skills end. I am forever appreciative that my husband knows how to garden and can walk out on the back deck and snip basil or mint or some other delectable thing for our dinner. I'm glad he knows what will grow in a pot and what needs to be put in the ground and that he makes pretty displays in our yard that I enjoy looking at. And I really love it when someone walks by and comments on our landscaping and I talk about how "we" did this and that. Truth be told, there is no "we" about it. It's all him. Because he just KNOWS this stuff and could care less about the dirt under his nails or embedded in the cracks of his hands that will not come out even with repeated washings. He calls it "clean dirt". I call myself lucky. Garden on, my friends!

1 comment:

jeff said...

Yep, thats me:) I love the dirt under my fingers and pulling weeds is thearaputic. My only complaint oabit gardening is that there isn't enough land to garden at our house:( I guess the good side to that is that there is more time to fish and hunt:)