I ask only because after deadheading flowers, lifting pots, pulling weeds, and resetting garden path stones, my bones hurt, my muscles ache, ants have crept inside my pant leg and there’s a patch of poison ivy on my arm driving me crazy.
I ask because it’s hard to garden when the weather goes from hot to rainy to ninety degrees with humidity above eighty and more rain predicted (as though we haven’t had enough).
Yeah — why DO we garden?
Because not gardening isn’t an option. Because something pulls us to the dirt and to creating beauty.
Some call gardening “art.” I call it necessary to the human condition, food for the soul, salve for anxiety, ice cream with no calories.
It’s been a crazy summer, though. The plants don’t know quite what to do about the weather. The sedum thrives but I’ve noticed some rotting deep inside where the sun (when it shines) doesn’t reach. Same for the cone flowers and the calibrochia.
The black-eyed Susan plants do well, though, and would probably grow in cement. I can’t complain about the lantana, either.
The new hydrangea trees my good friend Joe and I planted in the spring adapted quickly and have produced magnificent blooms, and the impatiens could not be more beautiful.
Having said that, the tomatoes are rotting before they ripen.
The eggplant is just now showing signs of edible produce and forget picking a crop of bell peppers.
But the basil is beautiful and the small patch of thyme the birds planted for me looks ready to use.
So . . . why DO we garden?
Pleasure. Sheer, absolute, I don’t care if the bugs bite, I know I can’t kill all the Poison Ivy, the ratio of rain/ sun sucks, I hurt all over, Pleasure.
I feel that as I sit on the porch swing every morning it doesn’t rain.
Sipping my coffee, I watch butterflies flit, hummingbirds zoom, and bees burrow deep into morning glories and daylilies.
As early sun highlights the crepe myrtle, and the golden finches come to feed, I feel happy and grateful that I am a gardener, and I think that Robert Browning had it exactly right when he wrote the words, “God’s in His heaven, all’s right with the world.”