projects and writings of Tracy Burkholder
In September, 2016 I started a year-long personal challenge of doing something each week that I’d never done before then writing about it. This is week 30.
Can I let the pictures speak for themselves, because right now I’m very, very tired.
I love gardens, but I’m not a gardener and I don’t want to become one. It’s taken me the full 15+ years I’ve owned this house to get around to tending to the patch of weedy lawn between my front walkway and driveway. I’ve talked about doing something with it for ages but it’s usually in the middle of winter when the reality of doing anything is far away. And then spring comes and it’s too cool and rainy to want to dig in the dirt and then summer comes and the wildflower weeds take over for a while and it has a kind of careless beauty to it that I actually like. In summer my neighbor glares at me for not keeping the grass cut and I kind of like pissing people off over things like long grass. By fall the long grass has all turned brown and the weeds have settled in and I start thinking, huh, I should really do something with this patch of yard. But I’m not a gardener, and I don’t want to become one.
To me, making a garden is like cooking a special meal for someone: a lovely act that overwhelms me before I even start. There are too many choices (all of them expensive) and too much about the process that I don’t know and I’m reluctant to learn. Then, once I’ve pushed through the reluctance, there is a constant nagging voice saying that I’m doing it wrong and the whole thing will be ruined.
And then there’s the fact that building a garden plot involves some serious manual labor and I’m seriously not into manual labor. Yes, I can massage people’s backs all day, but put a shovel in my hands and my heart will sink.
Despite all this complaining, I’m not really complaining. I didn’t learn to love or even like building a garden bed, but I can check this project off that most stubborn of lists. I can now sit on my living room couch (with the book I wanted to be reading while I was digging in the dirt) and start to enjoy seeing what these plants will do.