Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Digger's Diary #6: Inevitabilities of Becoming a "Gardener"

The first thing you must accept, when beginning to pursue the status of "gardener," is that you WILL be laughed at. And made fun of. I don't know why this is, but just about everyone, from hillbillies to radio personalities, has made it their business to let me know I am an idiot. No matter what I ask, be it a legitimate question or one which, in retrospect, I too realize was ridiculous, almost everyone responds with impatience, incredulity, or condescension. And half the time they don't even answer me!

Me: "what exactly does it mean to 'harden off' a plant?"
Gardener: "well--it means hardening off!!"
Me: O_O

Now, before I go painting all these people in a poor light, don't get me wrong. They are nice people and they want to help. And they will answer any question you have, insomuch as they can. But darned if they haven't all either been raised on a farm or completely robbed of their memories of having to learn this stuff themselves.

So, you will be laughed at. Get used to it, and don't let it stop you from asking questions. No matter how stupid.

The second thing: you will become a hoarder. You will. And here's why: gardening can actually become a terribly expensive occupation if you buy everything you need, and if what you buy is always whatever is actually intended for your project. Case in point: you want your tomato plant in a container. Non-hoarder: go to Lowe's, spend $40 on a good-sized planter, done. Hoarder: scour the alleys around your house like a filthy bum until you find a discarded bucket, suitcase, broken garbage can, or what have you that a) is the right size, b) can be drilled, and c) will hold dirt. And sometimes, as in the case of my 11 gorgeous discarded (not even broken!) old windows, you will find a find that you don't even have an intended project for. But god is it a FIND. Ditto the old rusty nail-filled carpet boards I scored off the side of the road. These have become the front of my compost bin. For freezy. Fills my heart with joy.

Accept these things, my friends. They, along with heartbreak over dead plants, fury at the neighbor's cat who WILL dig up your garlic and use your planter as a litter box (a**hole), and a host of other emotional extremes are the inevitable gardening experiences that I've finally come to accept. Le resigned sigh.

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