I Am Gardener, Hear Me Roar
April 20, 2006
I have been “gardening” or as I like to say, planting flowery shit around the yard in an effort to beautify the house and, most importantly, distract from the chalk drawings all over the driveway, the scooters, bikes and balls strewn about the porch steps, and the sea of plastic primary colored Little Tykes toys.
It’s an exercise in futility.
When you drive down my street there is little doubt who lives in my house. In a neighborhood of perfectly manicured lawns and yards handled by professional landscapers, ours sticks out like a sore thumb, a sore brown thumb. I’d like to say our yard has character, but that would make it seem like it were something positive.
We had landscapers over to our house a couple of weeks ago to give us an estimate on some work we wanted done. They got the estimate to us on Monday and they may have well asked for our first born as payment. As a matter of fact, that would have been preferable since these days I’d be much more likely to part with him than cold hard cash.
But once the realization hit that we weren’t going to be able to do the extensive work we wanted this year, I thought I had better get busy doing something, anything.
Tuesday I raked until my hands were blistered and wondered, yet again, why in the fall it always seems preferable to wait until spring to get up the leaves. There is no answer other than procrastination. Deep down I know that if I wait long enough it will snow and I won’t have to deal with it for six months. My motto is: Why do something today when you can possibly win the lottery and then be able to pay someone to do all your dirty work tomorrow. Not that this motto has worked out real well for me, but I am optomistic.
When I couldn’t take raking any longer, I got out the leaf blower. What a thrill to see the leaves, dirt, and plants with poor root systems, be torn up by the tornado like wind. I felt so powerful and God-like. It was fun blowing the debris over the stone wall and into our neighbors yard, at least until their landscaping crew showed up and I had to stop doing it.
Yesterday I went and bought lots of plants and cedar bark mulch. And I bought a cute pair of gardening gloves. I’m working my way up to the clogs. I figure if I keep these plants alive for a whole week I totally will deserve the gardening clogs. Then I can embrace the title “gardener” instead of “planter” which is all that I have been successful in doing these past 30-something years. Gardener implies that the stuff lives beyond the planting phase.
I spent the rest of the day digging, planting, putting in landscaping stones, mulching, and having my arms and hands scratched up. In between this I tried, mostly successfully, to keep my 16 month old out of the street. As soon as I avert my eyes from him he takes off running for the street. Thankfully it is a long driveway and he has short legs, making the trek to the street a marathon for him.
This morning Rob and I were standing outside in the front yard, where I was forcing him to admire my mad gardening skills.
“It looks really nice, Chris. You know you have to water it now, right? ”
“Does it ever end? Am I going to have to be a slave to this for the entire summer?”
I was left wondering, would plastic flowers be really tacky?
I’m not holding my breathe on getting those gardening clogs. I wonder if they make planting clogs.
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