Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ida Clare, Is there a Pig in Your Garden?

"In the summer, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." --Margaret Atwood

Oh Margaret Atwood, I do, I do.

Here is the dirt on the dirt at my house:

My yard is the pits.

For some people, working in their yard is the way they express their creativity and their love of nature.  For me it is just a prime opportunity to complain about the weather, piss ants and my aching back while spending large quantities of time, energy and money I could have been devoting to some other fruitless endeavor. 

(I debated whether to use the term piss ants but I sorely detest the little buggers and calling them little buggers is so unsatisfying when they are swarming your ankles stinging you.  I’ve tried to kill the population in my yard, but they are immortal, evidently eat poison for breakfast, and can only be killed by running a tiny stake through their tiny insect hearts.)

This is my first year at making an effort to do more than walk passively through the weeds from the car door to the front door.  If my yard could complain as bitterly as I do, it would tell you that the only green thing about my thumb is that I have finally surrendered and started painting my nails green or purple or blue; nail colors I always said I would never wear, but in a moment of weakness, I let the girl at the Walgreen’s talk me into it.  I swore I wouldn’t get a tattoo either and since they don’t do tattoos at Walgreen’s, that promise is still holding for the good it does me. 

Why I made a vow to not get a tattoo is beyond me when it would be so nice to have conveniently located somewhere on my body those pesky, hard-to-remember items I am constantly forgetting.   I could have my own personal Google right on the inside of my knee.  A man I know who doesn’t approve of tattoos bemoans that a valid reason not to get a tattoo is, “Think what it will look like when you get old and your skin is wrinkled.”

I say more power to me.  If I only have to lift a wrist to show the taxi driver where I live and don’t have to remember the address myself, who cares if he has to smooth out a few wrinkles to get to the good stuff?  I imagine I will never get too old to not enjoy having my wrinkles pressed.

However, I am not sure I am going to press on with gardening.

The grass has turned brown and does the rice crispy snap, crackle and pop when you walk over it.  My midnight rain-dances out in the back yard have yielded only mosquito bites and the indifference of my multi-cat audience.  The plants I spent good money for have given up the ghost and their skeletons mock me from their boney-branch graveyards formerly known as flower beds.  Decorating for Halloween should be no problem this year.

Dragging a water hose long enough to reach to the edges of my yard during temperatures so hot I could spontaneously combust makes me wish I was a fire-fighter with six-pack abs and an oxygen mask. 

Oh, not really.  Excuse me for a minute while I day-dream about sweaty fire-fighters with six-pack abs and, well, never mind.

Here are some more photos of flowers I haven’t killed only because I had nothing to do with them.  We can dream can’t we?
Flowers I had not the opportunity to kill.  Photos by Marilyn Farmer who has my gratitude for sending these.
How does your garden grow?


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