I have a similar attitude towards gardening as I do towards cleaning. That is, I wait and wait and procrastinate, watching it get messier and messier before I finally decide to weed it. By that time it’s a major, time-consuming operation that puts me off going near it for a long time and the cycle continues.
We’re going away over Christmas and New Year and people will be staying in the house. It’s been so long since I touched a weed in the garden that I can’t even remember the last time, so I decided this was a compulsory addition to the to-do list.
So on Sunday afternoon I set to it. I put on some old clothes, pulled out my surprisingly luxurious Bunnings garden gloves and my ultra-swanky gardening knee-cushion, and I grabbed and tugged at as many weeds as I could get my hands on. It turned out that my pre-Christmas garden-weed was much less time-consuming and/or painful than I might have imagined it could’ve been. In fact, it was actually quite enjoyable and I really shouldn’t complain about these things.
My reason it was so quick and easy is this: my garden has now gotten to the point where it’s mostly populated by herbs and vegetables, leaving less empty space for weeds to grow. It sounds like a brilliant, but obvious solution, doesn’t it? The odd sneaky few weave their way in between the oregano and the spearmint, and there are plenty of little sprouts in the gaps, but it’s much more respectable than I remember it being about a year ago.
Looking back, it’s certainly taken a while for me to get the garden to this point. Oh, and my attitude towards it as well. It all started about two and a half years ago when my sister turned up with a shovel, a pile of seedlings and way too much enthusiasm for me at the time. She swaggered in, plonked a brand new baby garden along the fence, and grinned at me. Actually it was more like a lot of hard, sweaty digging then a frenzied assembly of plantings. Then what did she do? She dusted her garden-y hands and said, “Michelle, look after it. Water it. Weed it. Don’t let it die”. And she left. Oh yes she did.
I was reluctant and impatient at first but gradually started to appreciate its value as it began providing me with some tasty samples. Now, I can’t believe how people get by without having fresh herbs at the ready just a few steps away from the kitchen. The herbs are my favourite bit, for sure. At the moment I have oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, spearmint, apple-mint, lemon balm, chives, basil, coriander, Vietnamese mint and lavender (do we count that as a herb?). Oh, and the gigantic parsley forest, but that was there before the real garden.
I’ve grown a few different vegetables that have been fairly successful (namely zucchini and silverbeet) and a few that have dismally failed (tomatoes, capsicum, broccoli…) and I’ve enjoyed gradually trying out new and different things.
In the New Year I just might make a few plans to branch the garden out even further and try a few new things. I figured there was no point in making grandiose New Year’s resolutions if I couldn’t even leave the house with it in a fit state. Now I’m all ready to start planning for my next gardening challenge… or by the time we get back in January maybe it’ll just be time to procrastinate for a bit until I give it another good hard weed.