Saturday, April 10, 2010

Gardening is gross. Simply gross.

I want to like it. Really, I do.

As the crocuses and daffodils stretch their little leaves up through our rain-drenched soil, I get excited. Not just for Spring, but because I'm going to buy flowers and plant them and love them and care for them.

I wait semi-anxiously for the last frost (I adore winter, so I can't get too excited about the warm weather) so I can head out to buy the prettiest flowers I can find.

And here's what happens every single year: I wander up and down the nursery aisles having absolutely no clue what to buy. It's all gorgeous. I want it all. But I'm not so green that I don't know that all plants have needs. That I can't possibly help with. After half an hour of wrenching indecision, I leave. Frustrated.

And flowerless.

This year, dang it, the gardening catalogs caught up with me. How could I resist the summer flower garden that arrives on my doorstep already a year old and transplant-ready? Delphiniums, columbine, hens and chicks... And something labeled Medium Pink. Huh?

There was nothing in the planting directions about Medium Pink. So I just guessed and put it back by the tall delphiniums. If it turns out to be ground cover? Well, it'll be very pretty, completely obscured ground cover.

Here's the bee-yoo-tiful picture that convinced me to pull out the trusty Amex card...

It took me 10 days to plant the little dried out root things sent via large envelope. (Silly me, I thought I was getting flowers that already looked like flowers!) I hated leaving them in their little plastic bags, but 13 straight days of rain and hail made it difficult to get outside (willingly).

Today I did it, though. I tried really hard to psyche myself up. Yay, flowers! Yay, a good reason to stay outside! Yay, gardening is so fun!

It didn't work. Gardening is no fun. No fun at all. It's just gross with mud and worms and grubs and ugly, dead-looking, moldy root things... Fun was definitely not being had.

Did I mention it was insanely windy outside? Not ideal conditions for planting a garden in any case. It wasn't raining, though, and here in the NW, if it's not raining, we go outside. No matter what.

Of course, in my great enthusiasm two months ago, I ordered two of the flower garden sets. 20 plants in each. And ranunculus. And ginormous strawberries. (I don't even like strawberries.)

Hours. It took hours. In my mind, it took all day. But that's not really true. And it didn't even take that many hours.

But it felt like it!

Now I just have to keep these things alive. Good luck, Kate. And, Kate? Throw out the catalog when it comes next year.


Barbara said...

I agree! Gardening is gross. I love my garden; I love flowers and green plants. I love the butterflies and birds it attracts. But I DO NOT LIKE grubbing in the earth, getting muddy, getting dirt under my fingernails even though I wear those stupid ill-fitting gardening gloves! Nor am I happy when the darn new plants die in the middle of summer because, despite the automated sprinkler system, they just didn't get enough deep down watering. Yet every spring, I have to get new plants. This year I'll try again with phlox. The little bit I have now looks like a small lavendar carpet right now. This was planted by the previous owner. I have morning glory seeds that I will soak, start in an egg box, and set out (once it stops raining). Years ago I had great success with mgs on Long Island. My daughters and I would go out every morning and count the lovely flowers. We'll see what happens this year...

Kate said...

It does look like the itty bitty growing parts of my soon to be flowers have growing!

Today, though, I am so darned sore from all the bending, weeding, stretching, digging, crouching... that goes with gardening.

Ah, what we do for beauty. :)

Country Wife said...

Don't be silly! Gardening is the BEST!! It's what I do all day at work with flowers and what I do all day at home with veggies. Nothing wrong with being dirty, especially when the result is three freezers full of healthy, homegrown veggies!