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Monday, May 24, 2010

Gardening

I think I've figured out a sure fire way to find out if a person is cut out to be a gardener.  If you've got what it takes to be a gardener, just try walking past one.  If you can't help but to reach down and "just pull up that weed" then chances are you've got what it takes.  For example, a short while ago I strolled out to the garden to see if my Nasturtium seeds had finally germinated and while there I reached over to pull up a weed.  Well, weeding is sort of like eating potato chips-you can't stop at one.  Before I knew it I was moving around the garden pulling up every large weed I encountered.

This in turn leads me to another point-someway, somehow, gardeners know what a weed looks like versus something they intentionally planted.  The non-gardener sees only weeds until a plant is a two feet high and sporting vegetables.

Shhhh-don't tell anyone but I chat with my plants.  Telling them just how proud I am of each and every milestone they've reached.  (I know, it probably sounds ridiculous to someone that doesn't garden-it's yet one more way to see if you've got what it takes.)  Cruising along pulling out the bigger weeds I was saddened when I found something had been chewing on the leaves of my pepper plant.  I got really ticked off when I found a gaping hole in one of the young tomatoes...not the plant mind you-which is bad enough in itself-but the actual fruit!

My Grandma used to say that a watched pot never boils.  The same sort of applies to gardening-if I watch my garden too much it seems to grow slower!  I do a whole lot better if I force myself to check on the garden every other day.  Doing it that way I can see the growth of the plants more easily and not stress that I'm overdoing things.  Which brings me to another point-it's possible to "over love" a garden.  My mom once told me that she used blatant neglect with her houseplants and it worked pretty good for her.  "Oh yeah...I leave them alone until they start to look pitiful and are gasping for a drink of water.  That's when I water them and I think they're grateful for any amount of attention."  lol...

Finally, a gardener is willing to do whatever it takes to keep their plants thriving-this means going to extremes like carrying buckets full of water to the garden when the hose just doesn't quite reach, or picking those ugly giant green caterpillars off the plants to prevent them from being eaten alive.  It means being willing to try any number of old wives tales to keep the deer and rabbits from destroying everything.  And through it all a gardener doensn't lose patience.  Gardening, at it's best is a weird, green, labor of love.

~Gail

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