Monday, August 23, 2010

Taming the Wild Jungle

Dear Garden,

I'm sorry that it has been so long since we last spent time together. The last several months have felt completely out of control, very fun, but very busy. It's a poor excuse for being a bad friend, I know. You probably noticed that even though I told you that I’ve been out of town, I really have been around for at least half of the time. But during those times I was trying to make up for all the time that I was going to be, or had been, gone, so I really didn’t have the time to hang out.

I was filled with so much excitement earlier this summer. You were looking so beautiful. Your peonies and iris, your lilac and poppies, you were exquisite. But I lost control. Now you’re covered in some sort of spotty disease that has spread from your poppies, to your roses, to your lilacs and I don’t know what to do. I’ve been ignoring you because I can’t bear the thought of taking you apart, but that may have to happen. If I take you apart, will you come back next year?

And your vegetables. Yesterday I finally went down to your vegetable box. The little trellis I made for your peas, constructed of string and wood, was in shambles. How could I so terribly underestimate your potential? Instead of building something for your peas to climb and climb and climb I gave you something small and insufficient. I gave you something that caused your peas to snarl and grow into a giant lopsided mess, so lopsided that they have grabbed onto the rhubarb and pulled themselves back to the ground, a perfect slug interstate.

And the salad greens. Those greens that feed us a month of salads have all flowered. Have all been infiltrated by forget-me-nots and flax so that the whole box looks like an overgrown grave.

And the raspberries. The branches so heavy with fruit that they’ve slumped away from their stakes with half the fruit blackened and syrupy.

But the daylilies have bloomed. Those same daylilies that didn’t even send up one bud last year have this year erupted into maroon and gold trumpets.  And even though I have been so neglectful, so thoughtless, yesterday you were kind enough to give me a bowl full of peas, a bucket of still-plump raspberries, and the promise of Brussels sprouts after the first freeze.

I don’t deserve a friend like you, but thank you.


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