The title sounds rough and you may be wondering why the heck I go to the trouble of writing this blog, or gardening at all for that matter, when I look forward to saying goodbye to it. Sometimes sooner than later. The short answer is it’s exhausting. But the longer answer, and the one I hope you’ll relate to, is that saying goodbye for several months makes it all the sweeter when I return to it come Spring. Even on the days when I declare I’m DONE! I’m not really. Until I’m actually DONE DONE and everything goes to hell. It’s the same with chocolate cake.
By September, I’m feeling the itch to wind down. I’ve gone full steam since March and tucking the garden in for winter is pretty alluring. The anticipation of putting the garden to bed is the same feeling I got when my girls were little and I prayed for bedtime. Man that sounds awful but if you have children or have cared for tiny humans always on the brink of their next catastrophe, you know the beauty of solitude, even if it lasts just a few brief hours. Gardening is a lot like mothering, minus the chemicals and insect infestations unless your child encounters head lice. Unfortunately, they (the lice, not the kids) don’t drown in soapy water like Japanese beetles. Sigh.
I’m not gonna get all Wordsworth or Thoreau on you about what gardening means to me. I’m just relieved I haven’t killed everything. At least not yet, anyway. There’s so much room for improvement. I love the forgiving nature of it and the chance to try again next year. Like when the dahlias needed staking and I ignored them and declared, “Well, this year you’re a groundcover!” Or when the sedums flopped because I forgot to pinch them earlier in the season and reminded myself that I’ll get another go at it next summer. Sometimes there’s just nothing left in the tank. Come September, that’s most certainly the case. I don’t want to pull another weed or stake another plant. So this year I didn’t and it felt pretty good.
I celebrate the end of my garden no matter how good or bad the outcome with the reassurance that I’ll get another crack at it all again next year. Now that’s something for which to be grateful.