The Whiny Gardener

Caution: Viewer discretion advised. Pictures are not pretty.

You have problems?

Every year it’s the same. I spend the month of February whining. Plants should be up and coming on February 1st. We’re in the south. It’s 40 degrees today! Spring should be here!

Why is it so late this year? Things are still looking dead. How can that be?

I scratch some bark off a branch. Just a test, mind you. If there’s green underneath I know the dead twig is still alive.

Uh oh, I guess I scraped this plant before. There are scars from three other scrapings this year.

I start to feel a little guilty.

Tools all ready. Nobody around

If I do any more of this, the plant will really be dead. Well, if they didn’t look so dead, I wouldn’t have scraped them to pieces. It’s their fault, not mine, I whine.

Fortunately, one day it’s March and the sun warms things up. Finally, spring!

I thought it would never get here. I see some green buds so I stop whining.

My favorite weed, the one with white flowers that spit seed all over and sing “We’ll be back next year.”

OMG, where did all these weeds come from? Why are there always so many weeds?

And why did spring come so early this year? Couldn’t it have waited a bit?

And how will we get everything done? We’ll be working every day till next winter.

I’m exhausted from all this whining. I take a nap.

The latest in garden decor?

I know, I’ll make a list of what needs to be done. It’s always better when you have a list.

Here is my list

1. Weed
2. Rake
3. Prune
4. Fertilize
5. Mulch

That should do it.

At least the pot can stay. Where else would I stash the weeds?

How nice, only five things, nothing to it. Now I can stop whining and take another nap.

I’ll get started tomorrow.

Feeling pretty smug, I give myself a little tour of the garden.

Uh oh, I see a couple of things that need fixing. I’d better start another list.

Nothing quite as much fun as tearing out ivy. . .

Here is my second list.

1. Ivy choking hydrangea, has to come out.

2. Lesser celandine smothering a couple of azaleas. Coming up everywhere else, too. That can’t be good.

3. Seedling beautyberry. Forgot to pull it last year, now a hunk muscling out azalea.

. . .unless it’s digging up lesser celandine

4. Those pretty purple jobs, annuals planted them all over last summer, what were their names? Dead now and rooted to China,  I’ll need a shovel.

5. Planter boxes in the courtyard. Did we really have butterflies last year? What a mess.

6. Maximillian sunflower, love it, but rhizomes and new plants everywhere.

7. Ditto for green-eyed coneflower, keeps invading the bed.

Green-eyed coneflower hidden under those sticks, another invader

This is a terrible list. I do not like this list. If I have to do all this extra stuff, I’ll never get to doing anything on the first list.

I can’t figure how all this super-growth happened on my watch. I guess I’m not very good at noticing. If there were a Gardener’s Army I would be court martialed and sentenced to pulling tiny seedling weeds, the ones with roots that break off when you pull them, for the rest of my life.

There’s a path somewhere, oh, that comes under “Rake,” in the first list

Here I thought we were ahead of schedule for cleaning up. We’d raked some paths and transplanted some plants (whose bark had been scraped to make sure they were still living).

Now, we’re way behind.

We’ll have to work dawn to dusk, and maybe even in the rain.

I make another list of what I like to do best in the garden.

At least I can skip hurricane clean-up, the last of it is finally taking care of itself, after 14 years

Maybe I can do this list first.

1. Buy plants.

2. Buy more plants.

3. Plant seeds that will not need help from me.

4. Plant small plants in good soil.

5. Give Bob the big plants to put in clay or rooty soil.

Just what am I supposed to do with the mess the beavers made?

6. Ask Bob to dig up shrubs and transplant them.

7. Water transplants once in a while.

8. Deadhead perennials and do light pruning.

9. Ask Bob to do the heavy pruning.

10. Weed when there are not too many weeds and they are easy to pull and they promise not to come back.

11. Did I mention buying plants?

What I truly like best is sitting in a comfortable chair with a nice hot cup of tea and telling everybody else what to do in the garden. Then I wouldn’t do any whining at all.

Look at these lovely hellebore seedlings I discovered when tackling #1 on the first list. Don’t you think I should drop everything and transplant them?

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This entry was posted in garden maintenance, Uncategorized, weeds and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Whiny Gardener

  1. BetteLou says:

    I chuckled all the way through this! So true. 😄👍🌸.

  2. This is so fantastic!! I was laughing out loud reading it — the greatest essay on list-making I’ve ever read! And I love the “viewer discretion” warning! Aunt Carolyn, where is your book of essays!?!?!?!!!! Also it brought such lovely memories of the extra-special garden tour we took of your wonderful garden — thank you again! Also, also: happy, happy birthday!!!! Sending much love.

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