tending the garden

Fall is really here. I put my garden to bed today. Dying weeds were pulled and the mulch was spread. Ending the spring and summer bursts of color and growth of edibles that I work so hard to grow each year. I am not a good gardener. I can’t name most of the things I have planted, I don’t know what grows where and how, I under-water and more creatures enjoy our fruits and vegetables than we do.

Gardening is a distraction from the miserable heat of summer. Gardening is the only exercise I really enjoy. Gardening allows me to escape whatever is cluttering my head as I always get absorbed in the sensual aspects of gardening. The smells of grass and soil, the colors of leaves and blooms, dirt forced under every fingernail and the sound of a shovel breaking through the earth and eventually hitting stone. Chattering insects and animals put me in a trance until my mind is clear.

I think of the women in my family who had all the skills I lack. I did not inherit their green thumbs. I wish for good gardening mojo to transfer from me to the soil I touch, as if a genetic connection would make it that easy. I think of watching grandmothers who could grow anything from nothing and how my mom can identify just about any plant or tree (Latin name first usually accompanied with a brief history of origin). As a girl, when I visited my grandmother, we would go to the store for milk, cereal, bananas, chicken, flour, sugar, spices and a few snacks. Everything else came from her backyard. It impressed me then and now I recall it with awe since I finally understand all the exhausting work.

I tuck the memories away. I look forward to the fall colors and cool weather. I will hope for quiet, soft snows in winter. Next year, while it is still frosty outside, I will watch for signs of spring. Another garden will be planted again, just like it always has been.

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4 thoughts on “tending the garden

  1. I was contemplating putting my garden to bed as well. I got too involved making apple butter and salsa. We did pull the red cabbage and the celeriac. The critters were starting to nibble on the cabbage so we thought it was best to harvest it today. Beautiful photos.

  2. Wow. Apple butter & salsa? I could learn a lot from you! I admit, I do have cabbage out there but it may not last long enough to harvest given the creatures that seem to be snacking upon the leaves. Thank you for the compliment. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment as well.

  3. You have summarized well the joys of the gardening escape! — “Gardening allows me to escape whatever is cluttering my head as I always get absorbed in the sensual aspects of gardening. The smells of grass and soil, the colors of leaves and blooms, dirt forced under every fingernail and the sound of a shovel breaking through the earth and eventually hitting stone. Chattering insects and animals put me in a trance until my mind is clear.” ~ Kat

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