Paradox: On Being A Gardener

by Daisy on 09/12/2014

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Gardeners are a patient sort.

We plant what we know will take years before the time it produces the first harvest.

Each year after that, we tend and wait a whole year for that small window of time when we reap the fruits of our labors and our time invested.

Gardeners are dreamers and hopers.

We look at our tender young trees and bushes and vines and fantasize about that day in the future when we will fill baskets and buckets with delicious produce.

We picture the jams and jellies, the pies and syrups, the sun-warm fresh fruits.

We dream of abundance, full bellies and stocked pantries.


And then raccoons come and eat all of our muscadines.

Gardeners are schemers.

We plot traps and electric fences.

We wonder if there is a way to electrify a grape arbor so greedy raccoon paws get 7,000 volts of Tennessee Valley Authority lightning from the tips of their whiskers to the ends of their ringed tails.

We wonder if we camp out in our garden late at night, say, near the arbor, what combination of hollering and pot-banging and air horn blowing would strike a balance between critter-scaring and a charge of disturbing the peace.

We question our sanity sometimes.

We wonder why we put so much blood, sweat, and years into growing things we can get in the car and drive to the grocery store and buy in a convenient package.

We simply wonder.

Then a fig ripens. We are hungry and we twist it from the tree.

Silky latex from the stem drips like milk through our fingers. The musky smell of fig leaves surrounds us.

We eat the fig, soft and candy-sweet, the tender seeds crunch between our molars.

And we don’t wonder anymore.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sybil September 12, 2014 at 8:47 pm

L O V E — I feel the same way:$

Lisa Mawson September 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Agreed. We just used gophers traps to catch the squirrels who ate the second harvest of my cucumber plant. But I am getting a third whoohoo. We dont have much of trees though I did buy my hubby a kumquat tree for his bday and it’s a dwarf so we already have fruit although its not been planted yet. I usually get two cycles of tomatoes as I vine and prune the plants till they make more. I have a cinder block small garden and love the fact my kids cam eat out of it and some never even Maj it in the house.. And I love you blog. So thanks

Barbara September 13, 2014 at 3:32 am

So true. Every step from planting the seeds to fighting damp off to fighting bugs and fungus. Having enough rain but no too much. What dispair—what joy!!!

Neža September 13, 2014 at 5:03 am

This just made me smile and cry at the same time!
Lovely post as allways, thank you!
Best wishes to all the gardeners of the world from my autumnal flooded garden,

Carol MCCUISH September 13, 2014 at 7:45 am

Too funny, I also feel the same way, our summer was short this year, and now our lovely fall is making an appearance , I wish all the gardners a wonderful autumn , thank you for all your sharing and blogging young lady:)

BarbaraM September 13, 2014 at 8:30 am

Oh Daisy!!!! I am cackling (that tells you I am a chicken person too….) with delight!!! You have captured it PERFECTLY! It is insanity to most of the world…..but delicious ecstasy to the rest of us. You’ve started my weekend off right…..thank you.

Linda Thomson September 13, 2014 at 10:10 am

What a lovely post! In some ways it’s good to here that everyone has some troubles with their gardens. I just wish whatever is eating the last of our tomatoes would eat a whole one and not take small bites out of several!

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