The Home Garden

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Planting and tending a garden is like running a boarding day care, summer camp, bar and nursing home combined. The plants are so tiny and cute and delicate at first. You are out there putting milk jug coats on them when it gets a little cold, trying to keep them dry when it rains too hard, shielding them from strong winds.

Then they become adolescents and start running all over the place, pulling down the stakes, gulping up the fertilizer, demanding water or pouting by wilting.

Soon they become freaking teens and make blossoms and cross pollinate with bad boy wrong varieties and you are out there picking stuff everyday.

They start invading each other’s space, trying to cross boundaries….the cucurbits run away from home and start hugging every plant for support like some drunk guy in a bar who got dumped. The tomatoes decide to do the Tower of Babel thing and see if they can reach heaven despite only having a 6 foot stake. Your nice neat rows disappear and you have plants everywhere. You are out trying to walk between them, pruning, swatting bugs, spraying things and sweating like crazy.

Then they start approaching the end. You have to baby them again till their time is nigh. You see the vitality fading and you want to comfort them. Finally a week or two after first frost you look out sadly at the empty rows or pots or mounds where not long ago cute little plants shivered from the last cold winds of winter and waited for their time in the sun and you miss them all.