Posted by: chlost | August 8, 2010

Gardening and the world

We are attempting to cross chores off of our “to-do list” in preparation for a large family gathering over the next two weeks.  With all of the craziness of the past month or so, we are very behind schedule. My husband works every other weekend, and doesn’t get home from work until 7:30 to 8:00 pm during the week. This was his weekend off, so we spent most of the weekend crazily trying to get things done.

My garden has been woefully neglected all summer.  It is a very small little garden, but I like it.  The annuals I planted this spring have barely been able to survive their fight for life against the weeds.  Our small pond (really just essentially a watering trough in a cute shape) had not been filled for many weeks, the little pump had tipped over and not been working for quite a long time. The water was green, scummy, and had a small mammal of some sort floating lifelessly along the surface. I had not yet put the mulch over the soil, so the weeds were dancing into the garden and celebrating their victory.    The creeping charley has not been satisfied to have nearly taken over the grass of the yard, it was sneaking its way into the garden as well.

So, a full day of work in this tiny little garden for me. It was 90 degrees, and humid. We had guests coming for dinner, so there was much incentive to keep at it until it was done. One of the guests has gardens that could rival most mansion’s formal gardens. I didn’t want to be humiliated, only humble.

I pulled weeds, and I pulled weeds, and I pulled more weeds. I had time to consider the larger world, and slowly came to the realization that a garden is merely a smaller version of our society.  I thought deep thoughts!

Wow! The heat was really playing with my mind.

I came to the conclusion that the garden is a metaphor for the world. Allow the bad guys just a little opening, and they will take everything they can get. If you are not constantly vigilant, it will be very hard work to extricate them once they have had a chance to establish themselves.  Negotiation is futile. The only thing they understand is brute force. (I don’t like that analogy).  I noticed that many of the weeds which were the most healthy and difficult to remove were insinuating themselves in and around the good plants, the ones that I want to keep. By sticking near them, they received the water and fertilizer meant for the choice plant, and they benefitted from what little care I had given those plants over the past weeks.

It was not a pretty world I envisioned out there in my back yard.  As I said, it was very hot, I was very red in the face, and sweat had soaked through my clothes.

I may have to give up gardening to be able to have a reason to get up in the mornings!!!

But I think it was worth it.  A little water, dinner with new friends, and a good night’s sleep helped my tortured view of the world. Today I did my chores in the house, in air conditioning.

Here’s a look at the little garden:

It looks peaceful, doesn’t it?



  1. Well your garden looks great. But I know it takes a LOT of work to make it look that way.

    The worst chore my parents could ever give me when I was a kid was pulling weeds.

    I hate weeds, they seem to be more viable than the regular plants. When I can I hit them with Roundup. We just recently moved to a new house with limited yard maintenance and an irrigation system. Though I will miss my Japanese garden, I am sure I won’t miss all the work of maintaining it.

    • Thank you. I had ambitious plans to add more plants, and more landscaping to it, but those plans are on hold again this year. Maybe in the fall. We have a very short gardening season, so if we don’t do it in that little window of time, it waits for spring. I’ll bet you will enjoy getting a new garden going in your new yard.

  2. It looks very peaceful! Good work creating such a beautiful space in your yard.

    • Thanks. For the work that it takes, I enjoy it.

  3. Oh my, that garden is perfect!

  4. Your little garden does look peaceful…and so sweet. I can imagine sitting out there and just enjoying the day…or evening, as long as the weather permitted. I’m not great in the humid 90’s weather anymore…never really was.

    Congrats on your little garden…all your work paid off. It really does look wonderful. ~Joy

  5. I think your garden is very pretty. I wished you placed more photos in your blog. We do not have a garden, we have one acre that is like a forest. We have a cement patio with many planters on it, and some planters in the front yard and that’s about it. But I love having herbs in summer. Today I’ll try to make pesto with all the basil we have before we go away again next week.

    • We have a forested area that goes down to the river behind us. I have just this small garden and some planters in the back and a few on the front porch. I always think I will keep up with the plants much better than I end up doing in reality.

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