Glawe's Outlook

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Garden of Weedin'

It is gardening time.

I envy people who can grow vine-ripe tomatoes, earthy-tasting carrots, juicy, red watermelons and eye-stinging onions.

My idea of producing those wonderful garden vegetables is plucking them from the display case at the grocery store.

I am not a gardener and probably will never be a gardener.

I tried - once.

I attempted to do the entire project myself - to surprise my farmer husband and let him how gung-ho I was about the prospect of raising fresh produce in the same spot my husband had been raising them before we were married.

This was going to be MY project; to prove to my then new husband that I had a green thumb. How difficult could it be? Drop a seed in the dirt, watch them grow and harvest the succulent summer items.

Our garden turned green more quickly than I thought it would. And soon it was green and lush with something I hadn't planted.

Weeds? I said to my husband when he told me I needed to get out there and remove everything that wasn't part of the plants. Which are weeds and which are plants?

I looked out at the patch from the kitchen window and saw the patch grow lusher by the second. And I soon realized what I had grown was a jungle. And I was faced with the dilemma - should I destroy it or just let the new untamed plot of land continue to grow?

I decided, or rather was asked nicely by my husband, to take action.

So, with my pith helmet, knee-high boots and sickle, I entered the jungle, now taller than me, or so it seemed, just a bit frightened of what may be lurking inside.

And it was as I had suspected. There were little monkeys swinging from the vines of my tomato plants, and for fun, they were throwing the nearly ripened fruit at each other. The watermelons had become stepping stones for various visiting creatures, cucumbers, carrots and onions had already been turned into salad by the paws.

I knew there was nothing I could do; the jungle had engulfed my gardening hopes. I exited with mixed emotions. Inside the jungle I had seen that yes, I actually did know how to grow fruits and vegetables.

You just couldn't see them through the forest.

I needed to do one of the ultimate sins - trick my husband into believing that store-bought produce was what was taken from the garden.

I didn't have the heart to destroy the jungle but I knew when fall came and withered the jungle away, the area would be much better suited to something other than my gardening dreams.

That spot eventually was covered with pea-size rocks and became our children's play yard. They spent hour after hour when they were young, day after day enjoying the fresh air and their swing set.

Though they have outgrown the play yard now and I am not in that area of the yard much anymore, I swear I still hear the chitter chatter of the little monkeys - the four named Jordan, Marissa, Meghan and Austin - who once roamed the wilds here.