Page 12 - S36.Autumn 2019
P. 12

Southington Magazine — Autumn 2019
 Garden Emotions and Life After Plastic Bags
As autumn stares me in the face, I’m forced to take stock of the rollercoaster of garden emotions I ride throughout the planting and growing seasons.
Come with me on a month-by- month journey of the mind and soul. And please let me know if you, too, wrestle with these plant-based feelings.
JUNE. Newby pots of nature’s
best have been lovingly sunk into
freshly enriched earth mere weeks
ago. Everything is neat and tidy, nary
a weed or blade of grass invades
carefully plotted spaces. Each plant
is clearly visible and independent.
I inhale the heady smell of damp, sun-warmed dirt. Everything is status quo. I am happy. Content. Like a new mom.
JULY. Devoting whole days to watering, fertil- izing, weeding. I’ve waited all year for this labor of love. Checking daily for the first tufts of dill, for baby cucumbers (Elation!) I rise extra early to gather bril- liant orange trumpets that are squash blossoms. I shall batter and fry them for supper. Planter boxes of spring lettuces have given their lives for tasty salads. I scatter new seeds in the boxes for a fall crop. I wait patiently for tomatoes to appear, their stately stalks and dainty yellow blossoms reaching up through their cages. I love the brutally hot, muggy weather. Playing in the mud is where I want to be.
AUGUST. Damn these weeds! I can’t keep up!!
They’ve gotten so high almost over- night! Cucumbers come so fast and furious that I’m making pickles dai- ly, it seems. No one leaves my house without a jar, like it or not—friends, family, the electrician, the gas man, the nice UPS lady.
Grrrrrrr. . .August wears on. The tomato plants are leggy and gangly. I’m tying up legs and limbs with jute string and they’re just growing into each other! It’s like a tomato per- gola. I have to duck down and walk under them to get to the other side. I’m 5’1”. Not a big deal.
“Why do I make so much work for myself ?!” I ask, cursing my hand- iwork, the hobby I adore. Enough already! I can’t even give away the barrage of tomatoes, since ev- eryone’s father-in-law has already pushed a basket
of beauties upon them.
And then. . .the cucumbers begin to wane. The
vines show signs of withering, and the crunchy, warty fruits are fewer and farther between. So soon? I’M IN A PANIC. Remorseful for my garden an- ger, I then beg, plead, cajole a few more cucumbers. I’ll water every day, I promise! I load that last bottle of Miracle Gro into the chamber and give the rows (once neat and even—now one big tangled mess of vines, leaves and stems) one last blast of energy. Fu- tile? Probably.
Yellow squash is rotting, but then it rallies with a starburst of babies. Will they make it? Zucchini is

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