Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Bitter Lesson

"Actions speak louder than worms."
Roddy Lumsden

The only part of my garden that suffered in my one-week absence was the compost pile that didn’t get watered. Most of the container plants were all positioned near a sprinkler set on a timer to give them 5 minutes in the morning and 5 more in the later afternoon.

The rest of my container plants, my veggie garden and other miscellaneous cultivated patches amid the general dry neglect were also watered by a timed sprinkler for a similar ten minutes a day. I discovered a luscious cucumber yesterday, and dozens of green tomatoes wanting only a bit more time to develop their sweet red flavor.

Instead of being grateful, or relieved, I’m feeling - oddly - betrayed. My traitorous plants thrived in my absence. I take this thinly veiled slap in the face (is that a mixed metaphor?) from the gardening gods as a message that I don’t give my garden the amount of water it needs. It seems, my habitual gardening efforts were actually holding them all back. Even the camellia, previously stationed at the edge of the irrigation system and looking like a goner, has begun to sprout new leaves and even a few buds. Terrific!

If my plants had shown me a few wilted leaves; some yellowing or shriveling; some bug-nibbled-around-the-edges leaves, there would have been a joyous celebration of the return of the gardener to the struggling garden. Instead, I feel only bitter disappointment that nobody seemed to miss me very much.

Perhaps a more generous spirit would find this a cause for joy, or at least for relief. Instead, I find myself feeling that I am not only superfluous, but actually, probably (almost certainly) detrimental to my plants. The ungrateful bastards! At least my kitties were glad to seem me come home.


Cicero Sings said...

Truly, you and my sister would get on great!

I'm with your sister on the "how are you question" ... definitely feel like throttling the well meaning person. How do they think (well they don't think), you are going to answer that? #1 They don't REALLY want to know and #2 If they would take a moment to think what it would be like to lose your soul mate, someone you did absolutely everything with for the last 6 years who by leaving has left a huge black hole in your life ... well they just wouldn't ask such a stupid question!

Yes, I will cope, I am a strong personality in my own right. One does what one has to do. The doing is not always easy. Thanks for commenting!

chaiselongue said...

Yes, I think your ungrateful plants could have wilted just a little bit.

Re your comment on my blog: it sounds as though you've won the challenge with those cherry tomatoes, although I'd have liked to have seen photographic proof!

I'm sure drying your garlic on a table is fine, it usually is here, but we've had an unusual amount of rain this year and I didn't want them to be damp when I plaited them.

walk2write said...

I get to scold the garden just about every weekend for thriving in spite of my absence. What I'd really like to do is throttle the lawn for growing so fast! Thanks for the recent comment.

Les said...

Whenever we vacate, I put my container plants in a shallow tray of water so their feet stay wet. There are also a few things I ask the cat lady to water while she checks on the kitties. The stuff in the yard is at the mercy of God or Mother Nature depending on who is running things while we are gone.