A Day in the Life of a Gardener

I’ve never particularly liked a-day-in-the-life-of-whatever blogs, either reading or writing them, but it’s finally dawning on me that’s what I do. I started out blogging about a day in the life of a writer, then went on to write about a day in the life of a griever. Later I blogged about a day in the life of a dancer, hiker, traveler, new homeowner.

And now, apparently, I am writing day-in-the-life-of-a-gardener blogs. Although I do things with my days other than garden, I can’t write about my job as a caregiver, because those hours belong to the client. Although I occasionally slip in a blog about the myriad books I’m reading, for the most part, when I close a book, that’s the end of it for me. I also spend way more time than might be good for me on a hidden object game, but it’s not interesting to talk about except perhaps to mention that I con myself into believing that the game is exercising my brain. (I tend to think it’s more ruinous for my eyes than good for my brain, but that’s what a con is — making one believe something that might not be true.)

So that leaves . . . gardening.

With that lead up, I’m sure you can guess what today’s blog is about. Yes, you guessed correctly — a day in the life of a gardener.

It’s not really that exciting a day, to be honest. The night never cooled off much, so it was already hot at daybreak, and the rising sun only added more heat to the day. Even though I was out early, I didn’t have much energy to do anything very arduous, so I watered my plants and then harvested the larkspur seeds that are ready. They are tiny things that look like poppy seeds, but luckily, they grow in a small pod that’s easy to get to. A lot of the seeds will fall wherever they will, but those I harvest will be strewn in strategic places in my yard next fall. The photo, of course, is the way the plants looked before they went to seed. It’s possible that after the seeds fall, I’ll have resurgence of flowers later in the summer.

Despite the ever-rising heat, I still managed to drag myself around the yard to take photos of the newest developments:

A white hollyhock next to the pink.

The latest blooms on the dahlia.

A few bachelor buttons that volunteered to grow in my yard.

And what might be the last cactus flower of the season.

I’m also starting to make a list of things that will need to be done in the fall besides plant the larkspur seeds, such as replant the New England aster. I notice there are several plants now where there once was but a single plant, and I’d like to spread them out. The photo is from last year. Because they are a fall-blooming flower, I won’t see any blossoms for a few more months.

It amazes me that I am starting to think of myself as a gardener. I’m really just a dilettante still, but with practice, I will become more expert. And then there will be more and prettier photos for my day-in-the-life-of-a gardener blogs.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator

Today’s Garden Surprises

Shortly after I moved here, a neighbor let me transplant a bit of her far-ranging prickly pear cactus. I might not have been interested if I hadn’t just spent several years in the high desert of California. I’d often encountered such plants when I wandered in that rather tame wilderness, and her plant seemed to bridge some sort of mental or geographical gap in my psyche.

The prickly pear never really did well — most of the paddles gradually died, but there was no way I was going to touch that thing to remove it. It all but maimed me when I dug it up and replanted it that I didn’t want to ever do anything with it again. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Those prickles really hurt. Even wearing heavy work gloves didn’t keep my hands safe from all the pricks.

Last year I noticed a bit of green, and this year, although the dead paddles are still lying on the ground to remind me of less sublime times, the prickly pear is doing well. And look!

It bloomed for me!

That wasn’t the only surprise today. The rock roses seem to be taking hold.

The snapdragons are really going strong. Such pretty candy colors!

The calibrachoa flowers I’d planted in a hanging basket are also going strong.

And more hollyhock blossoms are peeping out at me.

It’s funny to think of myself as a gardener. I was one of those people who were seemingly born with a brown thumb — I couldn’t keep even the simplest plant alive. And now, so many flowering plants adorn my yard that it amazes even me.

Admittedly, most of the yard is dirt and weeds, and even the garden spots are rather sparse, though if you just see my photos rather than the yard itself, you’d think I have a lush yard. Maybe someday I will, but for now, I’m thrilled with any bits of life and color that manage to survive my inept care.

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What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

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