I placed a few tarps in the barren expanse that is my backyard last fall, with the intention of killing the grass and planting a garden. The tarps (purchased more for their affordable two-for-five-dollar price than for actual plan) turned out to be a bit small. I figured that this would be okay, despite comments from multiple galleries of peanuts, because I know how hard gardening is.
One of my favorite books when I was a child was "The Secret Garden" which is a heartwarming tale about a spoiled rich girl whose parents are killed. She is sent to live with a mysterious (and even richer) uncle and is pretty much neglected, as she has months and months to wander aimlessly over the grounds. Anyway, she finds a garden and begins fixing it up since it has also been neglected (what a twist!) for years. This book made gardening seem enjoyable, and easy. It never mentioned that much gardening is, in fact, done outdoors. With bugs. And heat from a blaring mid-summer sun. It also never mentioned that weeding requires kneeling on one's knees for hours, and how picking vegetables requires bending over - for hours. This book never once warned readers that weeding is required daily, and that adorable woodland creatures will eat your plants and dig burrows in your garden. Well, Constant Readers, thank goodness you have me. Without me, you'd think gardening is all bluebirds and butterflies. Sure. But it is also mosquitoes, worms, and groundhogs.
So, the garden is small. And untilled. I called a tiller guy, and he wants five whole days without rain before he will come! Five! I don't think we've gone five days without rain since March, and then it was thirty degrees out. So tonight, I decided to do it myself with a pitchfork. I am not sure this is going to work, but since my only goal is to do better at gardening than last year, I will risk it. (BTW, last year I got a few strawberries that were eaten by slugs, zero tomatoes, and no peppers. If I successfully grow ONE edible thing this year, I will be tickled pink.)
New thing to add to unpleasantness of gardening: blisters. Next time I will wear gloves. And oh yes, there will be a next time. In two hours, I only managed a third of my itty bitty garden.
As I read this, I wonder what is driving me to garden at all. Good question. I guess it is this emptiness of yard. I feel like SOMETHING should be done, and at least gardening is something I have experience with. I also have plans for flowers, which for some reason I think will be relaxing and enjoyable. You see, I read this book once....