Garden Envy

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I want it big. I want it beautiful. I want it NOW! I am not by nature a competitive person, or particularly greedy or selfish, at least I like to think so. But I am already beyond impatient to have the garden of my dreams: voluptuous veggies that make your mouth water at first sight, luscious herbs whose aroma penetrates the entire room, exotic flowers whose beauty could make you weep. A magical place somewhere between my two favorite childhood books: The Secret Garden, and Where the Wild Things Are. Why is it those things you most desire take the longest to realize?

In the South it’s already time to order seeds and pre-plan the spring garden. We’re not even a year here yet, and at the beginning I promised I would cut myself some slack regarding my inevitable crop failures. I said I’d be happy with whatever I managed to get, I am laughably inexperienced, after all. I gaze at the neighbors’ perfectly manicured and vole-free, rabbit-proof garden plot producing an ample surplus of my own failures: winter squash and green beans galore, pecks of perfect peppers. They have all been gardeners for decades, obviously I cannot compare my own measly efforts to theirs, but of course, I do. They are happy to offer advice, but it’s hard sometimes to listen when you are so eager to just DO.

Handy hubby must realize to what degree I am in way over my head. For reasons I am not entirely sure, he seems enthusiastic to help me along. Is it his love for fresh veggies or for me that has him losing sleep over greenhouse designs and irrigation systems? Or maybe he is afraid the famous Southern expression might otherwise apply to us: When Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!

I would ask him, but what if by asking, he starts to question that himself, and that line of questioning then leads him to the realization he would rather spend the time, money and effort on his future workshop. So, I’ll quietly and quite gladly take whatever help I can get. Maybe I’ll even slow down this time, learn to ask more, and maybe even try again to listen to the voices of experience.