Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Work in Progress

Gardening is a constant, fluid pursuit.  The work is never really completed; only small tasks end while others begin.  A garden is never weed free.  Pruning and dead-heading will ebb and flow.  The cabbage beetle might be eradicated, but tomorrow the tomato horn worm will invade. 
This is the constant, never ending journey in which I have chosen to take part.  Sometimes, I ask myself "why?".  But then I remember that as much as it frustrates me when things go wrong, it is precisely this beautiful cycle of success and failure that draws me to my garden.  I have a tendency to seek perfection, to be dissatisfied with average, and completely upended by failure.  But gardening helps me to practice patience and flexibility, and allows me to channel my tensions into a healthy pursuit.  The moments of success may be fleeting -- a beautiful patch of tulips one day droops and fades the next; a pristine head of lettuce is picked off by a hungry bunny; a seemingly healthy patch of squash is decimated overnight by powdery mildew -- but those moments of beauty and promise keep me coming back day after day.
We are just gearing up for planting season, and right now the ground is fallow.  But throughout the late spring, summer, and early fall, garden veggies will grace us with their presence, feed us, and slowly wither away.  Beans will die out long before tomatoes.  Crops like Swiss Chard will hang on until the bitter, frostbitten end.  Everything will eventually die.  Annuals in the flower beds will need to be pulled and replaced the following spring.  Perennials will go into hibernation.  Then, the following spring, the whole process will start over again.
A gardener never rests for long.

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