Abundant rain kept me out of my garden. After the wet spell, I strolled out to take a proud view of my neat rows. I saw a carpet of thick, tall weeds carpeting the ground. “I must have been mistaken,” I thought. “I must have imagined that I weeded and hoed this garden a week ago. It could not have been this garden that I so carefully tended. Maybe I accidentally weeded and hoed someone else’s garden.”
|Garden Coming Along on June 21st|
|Garden After Third Massive Weeding|
I struck the hoe over and over against tough roots. I bent low over rows to pull huge pigweeds from amid the potatoes. I could not believe that, for the third time this year, I was involved in a monstrous weeding, as if the previous two weedings had been for nothing.
Next year, before I order seeds, I will read my blogs. Maybe I will become a regular customer at the farmer’s market and will skip gardening. What joy is there in repeating exactly the same hard work of a week ago?
The fact that many of my seeds had not sprouted in the first place was haunting me now. Large gaps were not shaded by the leaves of vegetables and had to be hoed smooth. Not far from where I live is a perfect garden of about the same size as mine. It stands so near the road that I am forced to look upon it. The rows are as straight as a ruler, the plants are spaced exactly alike down the rows, the stakes have the same height throughout and do not lean, and the weeds—well, there are none. What gardener has the patience and the good luck to have a garden like that? I would ask the owner if I could take a picture to post online, but I fear that the obsessive compulsive individual might rightly ask to see my garden. So everyone will have to imagine how faultless and immaculate that other garden is.
|The First Flowers in My Garden|
My garden is what a garden is meant to be: haphazard, uneven, inexact, and overgrown in spots. Of course, the previous sentence is only a literary stunt intended to sound true but a cheap alibi nonetheless. I wish my rows were as satisfactory as those of my neighbor, but, before I covet my neighbor’s cucumber, I will content myself by saying that, after I hoed my last weed, I harvested three fat zucchini that will send me into an ecstatic state of mind at my dinner table. As I carried them to the house, I almost forgot my aching back.