Anyone who takes care of a garden knows it’s a full-time job and one that you sometimes have to fit in with your other full-time job. Being a stay-at-home mom was my full-time job but I always managed to maintain a flower and, sometimes, vegetable garden along with my other chores.
Now that our children have grown up and moved on, I find myself spending more and more time in the garden but, not surprisingly, the older I get, the harder the work becomes.
If only nature would cooperate a bit, things wouldn’t be so bad but I’m constantly having to remove those darned weeds from the flower beds. Why is it that they grow faster and are more bug and weather resistant than anything else out there? Winkling them out from between the paving slabs on the patio is a back-breaking task and one that seems to need repeating almost as soon as I reach the final slab.
Speaking of bugs, I’m constantly removing Japanese beetles from the rose bushes. I hate using pesticides in the garden so I try to just flick them into an empty jam jar but it’s a never-ending battle during the summer months.
I’m constantly waging war on the local rabbit population. Every once in a while I score a victory as with the gladiolas this summer. Earlier in the spring these furry felons neatly nibbled them down to the nubs but incredibly they still managed to bloom.
I’m also constantly replacing things that the squirrel digs up. A few weeks ago I read somewhere that an iris won’t bloom if you plant it too deeply so I went around the garden and lifted some three dozen irises. I carefully divided them, trimmed the leaves and replanted them at the required depth. The next morning I awoke to find that something had dug them all up again. Apparently it was the squirrel who, feeling that something worth eating might have been buried in the garden, had unearthed all the rhizomes. He also excavated a large hole in a recently mulched bed, tearing up the underlying plastic in an effort to discover what lay beneath. I’ve now had to resort to spraying something malodorous (probably coyote widdle) all over the flower beds in order to keep things in their place. I opened the windows the other day to let some fresh air in and the smell was enough to make you faint!
But, despite all these trials and tribulations, the one thing that constantly amazes me is the satisfaction that comes at the end of the day when I can sit back and enjoy the color and variety of the flowers. It’s worth every minute of work and a constant reminder that nature is a beautiful thing.