My Greenish Thumb

“Do you actually like gardening?” Jeremy asked, while we stood outside looking at the backyard.

The truth is, I don’t.

Although I talk about it a lot, and it consumes so much of my free time, for me it’s actually just a means to an end. What I really love is having flowers, trees, fresh herbs, and vegetables right off the vine, all summer. Unfortunately, having these things requires a lot of work.

There are aspects that I do enjoy.

I love spending time outside and the way my arms look after a summer’s worth of cutting the grass with my little manual mower. People think I’m nuts for pushing that thing around, but it really sculpts the guns. I also love shopping at the garden center. Most of all, I love that feeling of pride and satisfaction when I drive up to our house and see our beautiful garden, knowing that I did this.

On the other hand…

I don’t like being attacked by swarms of angry Japanese beetles (which happened to me last year, when I was trying to save what was left of a birch tree they’d devoured while we were at work) or being stung by bees, ants and thistles. Furthermore, I don’t particularly care for cleaning up turds from the neighbourhood cats – three cats, that don’t belong to us, regularly use our garden as a litter box. I also do not enjoy finding carcases from deceased birds and small animals in our flower beds (the later, I thankfully, have not encountered yet this year).

Then, there’s the time. Whenever I step outside, I feel like there are always weeds to be pulled, shrubs to be trimmed, or grass to be cut. I spend so much of my summer up to my elbows in dirt, when I’d rather be on the deck with my feet up, with a magazine and a glass of wine.

I’m still relatively new to gardening. I don’t really know what I’m doing, so I don’t always approach it as efficiently as I could. It’s getting easier every year though. With every passing summer I learn a little more and gain that much more control over our suburban jungle. I’m confident that someday soon I’ll get to spend more time enjoying our yard than working in it.

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  1. Hmmmm…………….I’m a bit shocked really you don’t like gardening…………because you are so amazing at it.

  2. Thanks! Maybe someday I’ll grow to love it, until then, it’s just a thing that needs to be done around the house…much like cleaning the toilet.

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