Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.
I lift my bucket of gardening paraphernalia from the back of my car and head for the jungle that is my garden, happy for the gift of solitude, and thankful for the cooler day in which to work.
My first priority: harvest. Angry clouds are looming, if a storm hits I want to at least have gathered what I need for supper.
The Drunken Woman lettuce is bolting and won’t taste as sweet but I decide to pick some anyway; I’ll pull it all out in a few days.
The swollen orbs of Hakurei turnip are well past the recommended golf ball size that’s best for harvest. Experience tells me they get mushy if left the ground too long. I pick a handful of the largest ones, remembering a few weeks ago, when I was thrilled with just a couple of tiny ones for a salad.
Next, I wade into middle of the garden and pull a half-dozen beets—thinning at the same time as harvesting. The beetroot and greens will make a tasty dish with our supper.
On to the peas. The Alderman vines are well above my 5’ 5” frame and are loaded with pods. I pick just enough for the evening meal; I’ve got to pick a whole lot more in the next day or two.
Finally, I cut the last of the garlic scapes and set the curly pungent cords on top of my bag of lettuce. Then I stand back and survey the space.
There’s so much more I need to harvest—Swiss chard, Kale, radishes I planted between rows of beets, basil, green onions. I have to stop because I won’t have time to deal with the abundance today. And there’s still those weeds.
My cell phone rings as a few drops of rain start to fall. It’s the perfect time for a mother-daughter chat, and I tote my bags of produce to the car as the thunder booms. Safe from the passing storm, we pass a half hour or so in good conversation.
I return to my garden to do battle. I’ve never had weeds like I do this year and ten days away has granted them the opportunity to make themselves at home. They gift me with a couple of sweet, solitary hours spent pulling them and generally tidying up the space.
I don’t get done all that I want and need to, but I make a respectable dent. With plans to return the next morning, I pack up my things and head for home.
Tired and content.
Gifted with abundance.