Illusion and Reality

I don’t have a green thumb. This is a pitiful thing to admit, coming from a farm family. Even though it’s been decades since my grandparents gave up on dairying, my mom still takes great solace in digging in the dirt, growing flowers and vegetables. My dad, before the ravages of stroke and dementia stole his soul, could always be found in their garden or puttering around in their yard.

Meanwhile, as I enjoy the dream of a country garden, blooming with flowers and fragrant with herbs, the reality is I grow a mean crop of weeds.

The intension is there. When the first warm breezes of spring rustle last year’s dead leaves that I conveniently left in the flower beds as “mulch,” I usually manage to do get a little dirt under my fingernails. But after that, the appeal of sweating over weeds that never die while bugs chew on my extremities eludes me.

About every five years or so, I do the only thing that prompts me to get the yard looking nice. I plan a picnic. Five years ago, it was a family affair to celebrate my parents’ sixtieth wedding anniversary. No, that’s not a typo. Sixtieth. Six-zero. This year, I’ve planned a field trip for my Sisters in Crime family. We will meet at a nearby shooting range to learn about the firearms we write about and then adjourn to my house for a picnic.

I have been weeding and planting and watering for weeks. I’ve washed windows that previously didn’t need curtains because the dirt supplied a more than reasonable amount of privacy. I’ve scrubbed the porch and the chairs and the swing.

What was I thinking???

And now, the flowers I planted in the spaces where weeds once thrived are dying. Can’t they hold on just one more week? My hanging baskets look pitiful. Am I not watering enough? Am I watering too much? A raccoon dug up my rosemary plant and a couple of peppers in the vegetable garden. I stuck them back in the ground and talked nicely to them. One of the peppers has been pronounced DOA. The rosemary is hanging on by a thread.

I’m crossing my fingers for next Sunday. Please, no rain. Not too hot. And just let the illusion of a country garden exist at my house for one more week.


Kristine said…
Annette, I'm sure it will look fabulous for our picnic. I can't wait to see the work you've done.

Keep the faith. The sun WILL shine on Saturday.
Kristine said…
It's a good thing I've got a calendar that keeps me on track, huh? I meant the sun will shine on SUNDAY, not Saturday (although sunshine on both days would be lovely!).

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