Grumbling gardener looking forward to spring

Who knows what the winter will wreak upon my landscape and what my fix-it list will look like by spring.

  • Feb. 12, 2014 11:00 a.m.

If there’s one thing I like about writing a garden column, it’s that there’s no shortage of things to write about.

I get to impart important information on all kinds of subjects, ponder philosophically about the meaning of gardening and encourage my readers to embrace the environmental role we can all play.

I can jump on my high horse and type away about the benefits of tending the land organically and why to strive for a toxic-free world. Garden foo-foos and fails are always fun to write about, along with fleshing out facts on flowers and plants, meandering down the nostalgic path of time to childhood memories and returning to those interesting places that I’ve seen and traveled to.

I also get to grumble if I want to. My hubby wryly describes me as ‘an architect of time’ – an attribute I feel I fine-tuned during my earlier office days, and then as a mother holding up a hundred balls in the air.

I do admit I pride myself on my ability to organize, prioritize and orchestrate my day in such an efficient manner that I don’t waste a single moment of it.

This I feel, allows me to get as much done as possible within the natural daily restraints of sunrise and sunset and it also gives me some flexibility when those unexpected and inevitable interruptions interfere with my day when I’m digging around the daffodils.

However, whether these forced interludes are fun or frustrating, I still grapple with that “just go with the flow” warm and fuzzy feeling and instead let fly an expletive or two under my breath when my momentum gets mucked up. What really gets my goat is lost and wasted time – you know, that one-step-forward-two-steps-back feeling.

For example, how much lost time do I spend every year wrestling with hoses that twist up while I drag them around, that inevitably catch on something that will pull it out or over. Then on the sprinklers that sprinkle everywhere except the place I want it to, taking countless adjustments to get it right.

Precious time has been wasted when the motors on my machines wouldn’t start and many more minutes are lost again while my handy hubby is hassling with them.

Hunting down hand tools I had just put down and had somehow mysteriously vanished, like some invisible little elves had gleefully made off with them, seems to be an every day time-stealer too.

We gardeners already need to deal with the annual scramble of planting, seeding, weeding, watering, harvesting and storing as it is, let alone all those extra jobs in between which need doing, redoing, rearranging or repairing. And no season is excluded from it.

In my life for example, springtime is doing firewood, taking at least a whole week out of my garden schedule.

Summer means school is out when there’s lots of involuntary time out for playing and entertaining, and no time for gardening.

Fall time is combing the community for bags and bags of materials for my compost containers, leaving little time for much else. And now it’s wintertime, when all I can do is watch the seen and unforeseen casualties inflicted by the weather.

The first cuss to cross my lips was caused by that measly one inch of wet snow that fell in December that busted up my big butterfly bush, which will now require a great deal of surgery and pruning in the spring.

The second to slip up was when an entire 40-foot length of post-and-rail fence – along with the perfectly placed rocks surrounding it – was oops-identally taken out by the excavator that was pressed into service for snow removal.

Perhaps a tree will topple onto the garden shed or trash my nice new trellises, or maybe my shrubs and bushes will be completely squashed and suffocated under the mountains of piled up snow. Will my beautiful red climbing rose finally succumb to a vicious freeze/thaw/freeze cycle?

Who knows what the winter will wreak upon my landscape and what my fix-it list will look like by spring. All I can do about it in the meantime, I guess, is grumble.


Eagle Valley News