I love my garden. You wouldn’t think it to look at it. It’s in a total state at the moment. The cabbages are droopy, the basil is scraggly, and the mint has taken over the joint like a horticultural maffia. The lettuce has grown nearly a metre tall (I’m not sure it’s supposed to do that) and the parsley is an unhealthy shade of yellow.
I was standing this morning, contemplating this sorry sight, and berating myself for having let it get so bad. Veggietot Mom is supposed to have a gorgeous blooming garden, providing hours of wholesome recreation for her whole family and oodles of organic produce for her sodium-free stockpot. No?
Yes, that would be rather nice. But it’s not always achievable. Or should I say, it’s not always achievable at the same time as raising three kids aged five and under, meeting my work deadlines and getting the laundry done. When I look at the year our family’s had, I guess I’m not surprised that something had to give. I guess better the garden than the children, eh?
But then I adjusted my focus. Set haphazardly in between the dejected veggies are some red petunias and some brightly coloured numbers whose name I don’t know that my eldest picked out at the nursery. We planted these together, my kids and I, on an afternoon when the TV was off and the sun was shining.
I guess this is a case of every tired veggie patch has a silver lining – or a very colourful one.
And that, dear readers, is what I really love about my garden. It’s a wonderful metaphor for my life: messy, multihued, needing attention in many areas but always growing. Nothing – save the ceramic gnome – is set in stone, and there’s always the potential for new shoots to spring forth in unexpected directions. I may look at it with vague disappointment on one day, but the very next day I can tidy it up and plant something new and wonderful. I can make it whatever I want it to be.
And until then, I’ll just focus on the flowers.