AS I WAS SAYING: Relaxing? Not for this gardener…

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AS I WAS SAYING: Relaxing? Not for this gardener…



I think I have waited too long to pick up gardening.  To be fair, I think that when it comes to gardening, you either have it or you don’t.  My wife has it.  I will probably never love gardening as much as my wife, but I can certainly say that I have a greater appreciation for it. 

So it came as a surprise to me that when it appeared that something was digging amongst the begonias, I took great offense. 

My wife took it in stride as a natural part of nurturing the great outdoors.  I went all Elmer Fudd.  One squirrel who happened to be within 100 feet of the garden at the time became suspect #1.  After repeated demands that he come back to the garden “and own up to your reckless vandalism”, he quietly hopped away. 

I smoothed the soil over the tiny damaged pockets and vowed to keep my eye on him.  In the morning, I woke to find fresh trenches.  That was it. 

After describing the earthy violations on-air, I have learned a number of other things.  First of all, apparently this stuff happens to everyone.  I thought I was being singled-out and punked by Small Critter Nation.

Second, gardeners are a close knit caring community.  They share.  I got advice on how to keep animals off the garden, which animals it may be…..from skunks and squirrels to rabbits and scary birds. 

The problem is that I don’t know what to do with all the info.  I am a rookie male gardener.  I want to fingerprint all the local animals.  Cathy claims that that is not feasible, cost efficient or even legal.  Well neither is trespassing, but in the interest of family harmony, I defer to her experience in this matter.

Oh, and man do I like to mulch.  It has many uses of which I was totally unaware.  It traps the water and keeps weeds from sprouting up.  Genius.  We used up three bags on the first pass….and I went back for a fourth.  Cathy wasn’t sure we needed 4 but she isn’t about to look a gift gardener in the mulch….so fill your boots!! 

But I’m a guy….so of course, I think we need a fifth bag.  If some is good then more is better right??  Not necessarily…so I still have a lot to learn.

For example, we have planted the garden, spread the mulch and lovingly watered it.  And I was dismayed to see that the next day, it didn’t look at all different.  No growth.  Was it the flowers?  Was it the soil?  WAS IT ME??  No.  Apparently, like so many things in life, a garden doesn’t grow overnight.  Patience is another tool every gardener possesses. 

I know that a lot of men are great gardeners, but I have been surrounded by so many who weren’t,  including a former neighbour who would go out every spring to retrieve all the slippers he has thrown at squirrels throughout the winter. 

The record was seven.  That is three and a half pairs of slippers.  Suddenly my fingerprinting scheme seems almost rational.

So happy gardening everybody.  Despite all the talk of how therapeutic it can be, I am still one wound up recruit.  Give me a year or two to get some “unsupervised pruning” under my belt, and I will grow as green a thumb as I’m likely to get. 

Just remember when that fingerprinting process gets the green light, it was my idea.

Read More: Opinion, As I Was Saying, Guest Blogs, Quinte

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