Thursday, June 04, 2009

The Accidental Gardener

No good can be found under a bush that hasn't been trimmed for seven years.

Heh, heh. Who knew gardening could be so dirty..?

I don't understand gardeners. On your knees, in the dirt, slaving under a hot sun. Digging and pruning and weeding. At the end, the reward is a nice-looking garden that eventually dies. (Well, at least it does at my house. Just call me The Black Thumb). This does not sound like fun to me. Know what it does sound like? Work. Hard work. No fun work. There's supposedly some sort of zen euphoria that comes from working in the garden. I could think think of many things that would create such a euphoria, and most of them don't even involve illegal substances.

Here's how I garden: someone comes over to my house unexpectedly and I see the backyard through their eyes. Flower beds that haven't been weeded since, oh, last year sometime. Bushes taking over the garden. Sticks all over the lawn. God knows where they come from. I am embarrassed beyond belief thinking that said person has gone home wondering "How can they live like that? How can they just not care??" And I become obsessed with fixing the problems.

So basically, I garden only when I think I am being judged. Or will be judged

By the way, if you come over to my house and I have gardened before your arrival, please don't be offended. I don't think that you, specifically, are a person who will judge me. It probably has nothing to do with you at all. More about my need for perfectionism, and my desire to have people think that I care about the upkeep of my house. I don't. Well, maybe I do, but not enough to actually do something about it.

I realized this as I was doing some work in the garden the other day. (Which, by the way, I decided to do because I had a dinner party on Saturday and was horrified by the encroaching weeds). And, by "work", I mean the bare minimum I need to do to get by.

Here are the rules every Accidental Gardener must follow:

  1. If it looks like a weed, rip it out.
  2. If it looks like a plant, but you didn't plant it, it's probably a weed. If you don't like it, rip it out.
  3. If it looks attractive, let it stay. Even if it's actually a weed.
  4. If it looks attractive, but threatens to take over lawn, rip it out. No mercy.
  5. If you get bored of weeding, use the rake. Pretend it's fancy mulch.
  6. If a bush is getting too big for it's britches, cut it back. No mercy. Even if your husband has a sentimental attachment to bush. (Did she just say that? Whut!?)
  7. Only buy plants that can't be killed.
  8. If you must buy plants that look fragile, ask them if they have a death wish.
  9. Once planted, everyone is on their own. Don't expect succor from Black Thumb.
  10. Whatever you do, don't water. That takes time and effort.
  11. Gloves are for sissies.
  12. If the weeds are bigger than you, run.
Join the Accidental Gardening movement! We are one, but we are proud.


ewe are here said...

heh heh

Except for watering, I've been able to avoid all gardening duties this spring/summer on account of my desire to NOT bend unnecessarily. Sadly, my exemption from gardening chores is coming to an end soon...

Woman in a Window said...

Once I bought one of those roll out rugs of flower seeds. Ever see those? The first weeds that came up, I pulled. And then the next weeds. And the next weeds. Those darn mats were full of weeds and not one flower!

I've gotten a little better over the years.

Bea said...

Gardening is something that I think would be really nice for hubby to take up. He'd get a hobby, and I'd get a nice garden to look at from afar. Perfect, right?

painted maypole said...

this year i tried a little extra gardening... i'm doing slightly better than usual at keeping it up. but only slightly. when the weeds in my veggie garden got truly horrid, rather than pulling them, I smothered them with newspaper and mulch. it actually seems to be working. ;)

Mac and Cheese said...

People around me are always expressing their love for gardening, so I try to recruit them over to my house. They never come. Your rules pretty much sum it up for me too.

kgirl said...

In a fit of martha stewart-esque bravado, I decided that we needed a backyard garden (because my front yard garden was doing so well?).

we went out and spent about $200 plus an entire day digging up and planting a roughly 10x2 flower bed along the side fence. We had fun, we did. The kids had fun. We prepped the next part, the vegetable garden.

And then I burnt out.

We'll see what happens next.

metro mama said...

I'm always super keen in the spring, and by fall I'm begging Sean to water the damn thing.

I'd love to see your garden! I don't judge.

Beck said...

My mom comes over every year and plants more perennials. Sometimes I buy petunias and plant them in bare looking spots. And thus ends my contribution to the World of Gardening.

Mad said...

I am passionate about vegetable gardening but not flower gardening. While, I think I have a keen aesthetic sense, I know for a fact that I have a keen appetite.

bren j. said...

Just this afternoon I walked by the front flower bed my Mom and I planted two weeks ago and was horrified at the number of weeds. Panic set in quickly when I remembered that we're having actual company this weekend for the LG's birthday party.
My parents are coming out early on Friday though so I'm crossing my fingers that my Mom will take pity on me and just do the weeding herself.
I love the gardening rules though. My husband planted a pretty nice veggie garden this year. My part is in the harvest. Thankfully, I have the Impending Arrival as an excuse not to get involved. :)

Kyla said...

I don't garden. I just...don't.

petite gourmand said...

I love this post..
Glad to know I'm not the only one who hates gardening.

kittenpie said...

All of my household stuff is about the barest minimum to get by, and by getting by, I mean not grossing myself out.