Tuesday, August 7


There's just too much work to do in the garden, and thinking about it makes you want to quit sometimes. But then, little by little, a 20 meter plot is almost ready for planting after many days of hard work. There's so much investment there: time, labor (yours, and a hired hand) and yes, love! and you just can't leave it bare.

While this may sound like you're making a mountain out of a molehill to those who haven't tried it, I'm sure many gardeners would agree. I mean, only gardeners experience the frustrations in this line of work - frustrations like weeds, pests, too much rain ( or lack of it), sweltering heat and just like what we had a few days ago, stormy weather. And in your frustrated mind you asked questions like why do weeds grow faster than your pampered broccoli? Why of all the plants and weeds and grass and shrubs that grow in abundance nearby, pests choose to nibble on young leaves of your squash? Why can't a weather be good all the time? Why can't it stop raining? Why do typhoons come when the corn is in its most vulnerable?

But then, like everything else, these problems end, one by one. The weather becomes favorable, the pests find the maturing leaves too hard and brittle for their liking and weeds succumbed to constant assault. The compost that you put in your plot just started to take effect and your veggies growing just fine. That's when you find yourself humming a tune while pottering around the garden. You see the first huge yellow flower of squash and to you, it seems like a child's brilliant smile and you smile back! Frustrations? What frustrations? Hah!

The first sign of success perks you up so you made plans last night. Still you can't decide which vegetable to plant next to the bunching onions. Tomatoes? Snap beans? Peanuts? Radish? Melon? A bit of a problem as you can see when you have too many choices. Of course, it won't be too difficult to decide if you didn't buy all those packets of all those seeds!

You wake up earlier nowadays - too early a few times so you impatiently sit on the doorstep, waiting for the sun to show up. Even then, your impatience is rewarded (as if you deserve it). Just before the sun appears above the horizon, the colors of the spectrum tinting the sky greets you. As you walk through a thinning fog and open the garden gate, the waft of dew- laden grass awakens the senses.

The thought of quitting disintegrates.

And that's the other trouble of gardening. You just can't quit.

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