Theory of Gardening

I did some work out in the yard yesterday. The weather was nice — sunny and still, but cool enough that I needed to wear a coat — and I felt like being outside for a while. Mostly I clipped the dead stalks from the perennial plants, ready for the new growth come spring. I don’t know if that was the right thing to do, but my theory of gardening is that since I don’t really know how to do anything, to do something. (The obverse is also true. If I don’t know how to do something, I do anything, just so that it feels as if I am making progress.)

I must admit, although the yard is still winter bland, it looks much nicer without all the dead stalks and shrubbery. I think it will also be good for my peace of mind not knowing exactly where things are so that I don’t worry if the growth this year isn’t as good as I hope it will be. I did see a whole lot of larkspur seedlings, so with any luck, in a couple of months, I’ll be enjoying a swath of purple blooms.

I’ve been wondering if I’ll feel like doing the necessary work this year since I’ve grown lazy over the winter, but if today is any indication, there won’t be a problem. I enjoyed doing something physical for a change, not just reading and playing games on the computer as I usually do. There will probably be a continued issue with my knees this gardening season, but I have knee braces to help with that problem. Admittedly, it would be smart of me to use my knees as a barometer of when to quit working for the day, but I tend not to heed such indicators but plow through whatever job needs to be done.

I suppose as time goes on and I become even more used to the seasonal gardening changes and chores, I’ll be willing to pace myself a bit. After all, no matter what I do, in the winter, things will always look bleak, and in the spring, they will always look greener by comparison. And no matter how much time I spend on digging weeds and weedy grasses, by the end of summer, they will have won the battle.

The weeds are in abeyance for now, which is nice, so that’s one chore I don’t have to think about yet. I did notice it’s getting dry out there, so I suppose I should break down and water, but despite the warm day today — in the 70s — tomorrow when I have time to water, we’ll be back to winter temperatures. Well, that’s no surprise, it is still winter, after all, and will be for another eleven days.

But whatever the next few days — and weeks — have in store for me, at least today, I did something.


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.