Unfair Gardening Practices
would like to lodge a complaint.
has come to my attention that there are people who are
gardening in a way that is cruel and hurtful to
recent weeks, I have seen numerous gardens already in
states of utter perfection. Their flower beds are
turned, edged and weeded. Their shrubs are precisely
trimmed. Mulch is spread out neatly to the ideal,
I saw planters already filled with perfect arrangements
of foliage and flowers ó in April! ó I could be
silent no more.
are clear violations of the rights, or at any rate the
feelings, of the garden-variety gardener.
havenít even started, and these people are finished!
lost the race before I even began it. I havenít even
laced up my running shoes (OK, I havenít even bought
running shoes; OK, I havenít even finished looking
through running shoes in catalogs), and theyíre
already eating their post-race celebration dinner.
kind of jumping the gardening gun is this? I have yet to
put away my garden hose for the winter ó that would be
last winter ó and they are already basking in
how do these gardening wizards do it? The unofficial
gardening season didnít even begin until very
recently, and their gardens are spectacular. How is the
ordinary gardening mortal supposed to compete?
may say that there are legitimate reasons for their
prematurely perfect gardens ó that they actually
worked for them, or paid someone else to do it.
what kind of society would this be if we did not care
about the emotional well-being of our fellow gardeners?
Should we not garden unto others as we would have them
garden toward us? How would they like it if one of their
neighbors ran radiant heating wires under their yard and
began planting in January?
actions are all the more egregious considering the
brevity of the Chicago gardening season. By which I mean
not the climatological one, but the actual one.
we lesser gardeners, this is the time between our
enthusiastic vows that this year we will finally craft a
glorious garden, and our humble acceptance that, alas,
once again, we did not.
already a short trip. Too soon, the euphoria of early
spring, when you can dream of vanquishing the violets or
planting a mini-farm without actually having to do the
work, is replaced by the reality of true gardening
turns out that those great plans would require great
amounts of work. And in the full flush of summer, with
bike paths, beaches and backyard deck chairs beckoning,
you have to decide how much time you really want to
spend working in the garden. Especially once the sun
starts baking that clay soil solid.
some point, you have to either buck up, lay in a supply
of Aleve and start digging, or plant a few begonias in
pots and call it a year.
elapsed time from dream to capitulation is brief enough.
But being surrounded by early garden perfection makes it
puts an end to that glorious time in early spring when
you can daydream about your garden without putting a
shovel into it.
time may come when our hopes will be dashed. The
containers we planned to fill with exotic new
combinations may end up filled with the usual begonias.
The mini-farm may end up a maxi-weed patch.
for now, we can still dream.
we see the gorgeous state other gardens already reached
in early May.
attempt a grand plan when you are already so far behind?
Why hope for success when it feels like you have already
my complaint ó and a plea.
beg of my gardening betters: Canít you wait at least
until full-on gardening season to prove your
superiority? Must you destroy, in the first week of May,
my will to garden?
the rest of us a break. Slow down a little. Whatís the
The Management, I say that these unfair gardening
practices must be stopped. We should all be gardening on
a level playing field.
the playing field at my house is nowhere near ready to