What garden?

Yesterday on an airplane high above the eastern part of this country, I was recounting the things that I was looking forward to at home: my own bed, the cats, a familiar TV remote, preparing my own meals. I realized there was something missing from that list: my garden.

This was a startling realization, as I have a bit of an obsession with my garden -- if you haven't noticed. So I started thinking about why the garden didn't make the short list of things I missed, and I think I know the answer.


Or maybe I should say answers, plural. I'll start with the main one, which may seem a bit counterintuitive: I don't have a strong connection with it this year.

You see, although I may not have indicated it via this blog (except for the roadtrip posts), I've been traveling a lot more this growing season than I ever have before. If I look at the period from April through today, I've been away from St. Louis for seven weeks. Seven! If you add the "recovery days" -- those busy first days after a trip where you're trying to get laundry done, going through stacks of (mostly junk) mail, readjusting to time zones, figuring out what in the refrigerator needs to be dumped, then filling it back up with something that can be eaten, well, you're looking at 8 weeks at least of gardenless time.

Think about that. Two full months of prime gardening time gone. Not only couldn't I garden during those times, I couldn't even see my garden.

Any wonder that I don't feel much connection with the garden this year?

In addition, when I think about working out there (which I'll be doing this weekend) I have mixed feelings. One the one hand I'm quite excited to take a good look around, do a little bit of cleanup, some maintenance. On the other hand, there's so much to do. Mowing, digging up 'Moudry' grass seedlings, bamboo rhizome pruning, bamboo rhizome pruning, bamboo rhizome pruning, veggie bed work, pond plant thinning -- it's a bit overwhelming. That's the second reason I wasn't missing the garden: lots of work waiting.

(Let's not even mention the special projects like rebuilding the stream, which I'd hate to put off for another year, or any of the other bigger tasks from this year's project wish list.)

Now maybe all it will take for me to reconnect with the garden is a couple of days of intense exposure and nice early autumn weather, but this morning I'm still not feeling it.

Anybody else having trouble "loving" their garden right now?


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danger garden  – (September 27, 2013 at 5:10 PM)  

This is a hard time of the year for me in the garden. I've spent the last two days hauling containers into the basement, it creates a certain level of disconnect. That plus a big bad storm predicted for this weekend (and last) is keeping me indoors. However looking at the whole season I have to give it "A+"...it's just the shock of it ending to soon that I'm dealing with right now.

Rock rose  – (September 27, 2013 at 9:43 PM)  

Your garden looks great. I know what it is like to leave a garden for so long. I do it every year and every year I get just a little bit further behind. Unlike you I was out in the garden pulling weeds the moment I got home and I am still doing it after several weeks. I have to make some changes so I am not bend double for the rest of my life. How did the mallow do for you?

Hoover Boo  – (September 27, 2013 at 10:11 PM)  

Gardening passion waxes and wanes, like any other passion. Sometimes a passion wanes right out of existance, but that's okay. You had some fabulous trips this summer--is that such a bad thing? :)

Alan  – (September 28, 2013 at 7:07 AM)  

Loree: moving pots already? Oh please let us have a slowly-arriving winter this year -- I need the extra time!

Jenny: If you wait until the weeds are waist-high (like I seem to do), there's no doubling over. ;-) The mallow is doing fine -- just wondering what my overwintering strategy will be. I think it will stay in the garage.

Hoover: Great points! I'm certainly not sorry I took the trips Now time to get out there and start working!

Lisa  – (September 28, 2013 at 7:35 AM)  

I've spent the whole summer near home, doing chores in small chunks -after the initial early spring clearing/planting/mulching was over, that is. So my garden time has been more leisurely and 100% enjoyable. I know how you feel though. When our kids were still at home we spent every free minute at one sporting event or another - things in the yard get out of hand quickly! Then it's all work with little time to enjoy the fruits, as it were! That was one season in our lives; this is yet another!

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (September 28, 2013 at 8:49 AM)  

I know exactly what you're going through. After our two-week vacation, following for 4+ weeks of non-stop day-job work, I felt pretty disconnected. The heat didn't help. But now? I'm totally into it again. You know what made the difference? A concrete project (tree removal, selecting a new tree, soon planting it, renovating the adjacent bed, etc.) rather than an amorphous list of chores, few of them exciting. Here's hoping you'll "feel" it again soon!

Alan  – (September 29, 2013 at 9:40 AM)  

I did quite a bit of work out there yesterday, and I'm glad to say that things weren't as bad as I thought. Of course I haven't started rhizome pruning yet, so ask me after I start that. :)

Lisa  – (September 29, 2013 at 7:51 PM)  

Just remind yourself...it's not work!

Alan  – (September 30, 2013 at 8:12 AM)  

Lisa: true, but it seems like work when I'm just thinking about doing it. Once I get started, it's fun!

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