I’m not the type to garden. I used to be. I used to have a house full of plants and flowers and even small trees that I faithfully maintained, moved inside/outside to take advantage of seasons. I transplanted, re-potted, fed and watered like it was my job. I even had a vegetable garden for a few years, with experimental sunflowers and 10-foot stalks of sweet corn and rows of carrots. I invested time in the flowering bushes and plants adorning the house.
Then we moved to the farm, someone decided that we needed cats, and everything went to shit.
I’ve not had a house plant or flower since. Because cats. Even an unassuming aloe plant or tiny little succulent in a decorative jar looks like a bathroom to those bastards. Last summer was one of the first years I grew flowers in the front planter of the house…and we’ve been here for what? Ten years?
Here’s the thing: when the cats decide to use a flower pot that was home to your 100+ year old amaryllis flower as a cat box which kills the bulbs (or…the descendants of said bulbs) that your great-great grandmother transported from the Old Country, everything dies. Everything. Including the joy once found in gardening - or even the quiet satisfaction of keeping something green alive.
But who is more of an optimist than a gardener (or a farmer)?
I have a drawing - more of a sketch outline stuck on the fridge with a Mickey Mouse magnet - of what I’m hoping to accomplish in the yard this year. It is an ambitious plan and includes building a fire pit. And moving a tree. It is a small, stunted thing that hasn’t grown much since we’ve moved here; I’m convinced it was planted in a pot or maybe the root ball is still wrapped in burlap. Something has to be stopping that thing from growing, right?
On my list include plants that repel bugs - like lemon grass, chives, citronella grass. Also on the list include things that don’t need to be planted every year, such as lilac and raspberry bushes. And a rock garden where the crab apple tree stump collects weeds every year, despite early and often Roundup-ing. And climbing vines to cover a multitude of sins along the north and west sides of the house.
But I suppose I should consider painting said house, first.
This may be a plan to break into stages…multiple year-long stages. Too bad I only have until next May before Muffin graduates High School.