It is the last week of May. My Martha Washington geraniums are planted and the decision not to have a vegetable garden this year has been made. Somewhat reluctantly. But a garden does take time and effort and love. This year we do not have the time and effort to put into loving our garden. We still have time to change our minds—but if we do, we will just be growing some tomatoes and peppers. I will be planting a row of Boston lettuce in a planter on my back porch though, but that it about it for this season.
I love having a vegetable garden. But, as with most things, I love the idea more than the reality. The reality means getting the garden ready which involves some spade work, the addition of new top soil, the decision of what to plant, and then the planting itself. I love to see the newly planted garden—everything neatly in its row and visions of salads and side dishes dance merrily in my head. This of course is the calm before the storm. The storm being the constant tending of the weeds, or in my case, the occasional tending.
I do not have a green thumb. In fact, it is my eldest son who generally decides to plant the garden and this year he has decided that he has enough on his plate without adding our backyard garden to his duties. And I understand. Tending a garden takes work; and not tending it makes it an overgrown mess. Last year he kept the garden up—it was virtually weedless and the harvest bountiful. But the dedication meant long hours in the hot sun.
My parents always had a large vegetable garden—but I remember they spent hours taming it every night after supper. To them, it was well worth the effort. This year my eldest son and I have done the math, and the effort that needs to be expended is just not in the cards. We have other matters to attend to, things to do, people to see, other work that is shouting for our attention. So we will not be planting peas and carrots and onions; there will not be six varieties of peppers or four of tomatoes; and we will not be growing our own jack o’lanterns.
It is our loss I know, but one we have made peace with.
Are you growing a garden this year?