How do you cope with the prospect of failure? Not failure itself, that’s pretty easy. You cry, brush yourself off, move on.
But the likelihood of screwing up. Ah, that’s another thing.
I’m talking about my vegetable garden, which turns out to be both a success and a bomb.
My weeds! They have taken over. Excuses: Heat. Rain. Humidity. Social distractions. And I’ve got to work, after all.
I have tomatoes, so how can I whine? A rainbow of heirlooms.
Basil bushes that could make topiary pesto.
Squash, huge, far too much too eat.
Does anyone actually like stuffed zucchini boats?
My herbs were are great before they crushed by toppling mint. The lavender and tarragon have exploded. Next to them, the pinks I planted as companions have bloomed constantly. My raspberry volunteers produced berries that accent vanilla ice cream perfectly.
And here’s the point. Everything is sprouting, bushy, overgrown. The weeds sprawl. But the plants I expected to do well – the pole beans, say, masses of vines and leaves – have produced no beans.
Some cuke plants have thrived, but others flatlined. Peppers, yes, eggplant, nada. Cosmos making a brave go of it.
The beautiful crinkled leaves of the rainbow chard? Gourmet rabbit lunches, long gone.
The journey is the goal. To quote Gil, quoting some Oriental sage.
Oh. So it was all about the planting of those wrinkly little potato sections in May, watching the green plants thrive in June, finally the digging of the hard red tubers out of the earth, greeting the earthworms that were their bosom companions. Getting the good dirt under my nails.
Having a perfectly manicured kitchen garden where every crop prospers isn’t the point even if it was possible. I’ve had that experience, in the past, on a sunny slope with plenty of chicken manure and it was pretty great. But then I didn’t share a marsh with turtles and snakes and red-tailed hawks. I didn’t live in the shady, ethereal woods.
I could use a hand with the weeding. In the meantime, let’s listen as Jonathan Richman sings the Kinks’ Stop Your Sobbing.