I am probably the world’s worst gardener. We’re just on the ragged edge of the time of year when I can keep my flower beds looking attractive. We’re still getting rain, and on days like to day we get a break from the kind of heat that destroys the flowers.
I don’t know anything about plant health. Put it in the ground with a little enriched potting soil, water it when I remember, and that’s the extent of my expertise. Over the years I’ve discovered a few perennials I can manage to keep going (actually it’s more that they manage to keep going in spite of my dubious attentions).
My one and only gardening trick is mulch. Not that I know anything about how or whether it helps the plants that valiantly struggle to stay alive. But a good layer of mulch smartens up a flower bed like magic. Every spring I put down a new layer, and within minutes my garden looks – almost – like something you don’t mind looking at.
This year I wanted to try a dark brown mulch. Unfortunately I made the mistake of getting it at Walmart. First there was the half hour odyssey of trying to scare up someone to load up 400 pounds of the stuff. Then when I got it home I discovered that what was in the bags was less like mulch and more like small limbs and brush. It was so unwieldy it took over an hour to get it spread out even slightly satisfactorily. All of which made me ask myself yet again why on earth I ever shop at that place.
Finally this week I decided to try again. The Husband picked up another 400 pounds of mulch for me at Home Depot. I got up early this morning, and after a walk and some breakfast, Middle Sister helped me recover the flower beds in less than half an hour. Success!
So where does the philosophy come in? Well, let’s see…How is my garden like my life?
•I don’t really know what I’m doing. I just put my head down and go for it, hoping things turn out okay, at least for a little while.
•Sometimes I try something that turns out to be a really bad idea. And then I live with it rather than going to the effort of learning something I can do to fix the bad idea.
•Like the new and improved layer of mulch on my flower beds, I eventually find a way to cover up the crap in my life and move on. The rotten stuff still lies underneath, but I choose to look at the more attractive veneer and forget the ugly bits.
Not bad for 8:00 in the morning!