Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Gardening Time

Kate mentioned, on Saturday, that a Frankie Flowers book reminded her of me.  
She thought of me while reading it because Mr. Flowers, in his intro, says something like if you are two people working full-time, with a dog and kids, and all these responsibilities that sounded just like Ben and I… don’t have a full vegetable garden.  We laughed… then we decided maybe my garden didn’t count as a full vegetable garden.  That was falsely reassuring.  Yes yes, he must have had some other kind of vegetable garden in mind.
Oh, time. 

In thinking about it, I must say that overall I have been pleasantly surprised at how little time gardening takes.  Let me see:
  • Once your vegetable plot is made, it can take as little as half an hour to plant your seeds and seedlings;
  • In terms of flower beds, it takes five minutes to dig up a plant (say, from your sister’s or neighbour’s yard) and five more minutes to plant it in a new place (in your own yard);
  • It takes ten minutes to half an hour to water your gardens… and I only do that every few days if it hasn’t rained or if it’s really hot;
  • Weeding… well, weeding is what gets us all.  I have a lot of crab grass in my vegetable garden right now and a lot of prickly tall weeds in my flower beds.  Now there’s a time sapper.  But really, overall, I can get a lot of weeding done by just doing a little bit every few days while Isaac plays in his sandbox.  And I'm looking into some weed prevention ideas for next year (aka wood chips).   
And the bottom line is, like everything else you devote your time to… how important is this to you?  Some of my gardening plans are in the works simply because I am acutely aware of my friendly neighbours’ comparing eyes and curb appeal interests.  That’s doing it for others.

But overall, I do it because I enjoy it.  I love crouching down among my vegetables and breathing in that fresh tomato leaf smell.  I love that even on a hot day, I feel a cool breeze when I’m kneeling among those little plants.  I feel clear headed and able to think with perspective when I'm working with the dirt.  I love the idea of growing some of my own food.   I remember when Dad gave us our own little two foot square gardens to tend when we were young and I want my own kids to have that experience too.  I love step by step, year by year, creating, dreaming, building, learning, growing. 

So, I must say, I don’t spend as much time as some devoted to the little vegetables and plants in my yard… and one glance at my yard will tell you that.  But the time I do spend is well worth it because it delights me and I enjoy it in a deeply satisfying way.    

- Mary Mary

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I'm a little bit upset with Frankie Flowers. I would never recommend anyone have less of a garden than they dream of having! And I think if your passion drives you, you can match your vegetable-growing desires with your lifestyle. I do things to cut corners like some nights if I'm pressed for time, I don't use the rain barrel and watering cans - instead I just unravel the hose and spray down the garden for a few minutes. And I really don't weed very much at all. By now the vegetables are taller than the weeds for the most part, so who needs to lose sleep over that! What exactly constitutes a "full" vegetable garden? I'm feeling a bit defensive!
~Miss Greenish Thumb~