gardening thoughts #7: don’t bite off more than you can chew

My neighbor tries so hard in her front yard. I think she feels a little pressure from being sandwiched between me with my edible garden dreams and our neighbors in the end unit with the perfect flowers.

We had the funniest conversation a few weeks ago that I keep going back to in my head:

Me: Did you see the forecast for Tuesday?

Her: No, what’s up?

Me: They’re calling for snow. I’m devastated.

Her: Oh good! I can finally stop pretending that I care.

All I could do was laugh because she was absolutely correct. All of the herbs and flowers that she potted withered and died this summer. It wasn’t her fault. She has a really busy life and watering her plants sort of fell to wayside. It’s happened to me so many times over the years. I think I will have time for a project and then life gets in the way. I totally get it.

It was really a lesson in learning how to manage one’s priorities and “f*** budget.” (Here’s a link to Sarah Knight’s TEDTalk — definitely not safe for work.) The chronic disease community uses the idea of spoons, but I like the irreverent nature of f***s because it seems to get at the same idea but at a somehow deeper level. Each day you only have so many f***s (or spoons) and you need to spend them wisely because if you aren’t careful you’ll end up without any f***s to give. Thyroid cancer and the ramifications of it taught me that I need to be extra careful with my f***s.

So what does this have to do with gardening?

This year, I purposefully planted only two 3×3 raised garden beds and four hanging baskets. While I have BIG dreams of what our front garden might eventually look like, I have learned that I never have as much time as I think I do and things always take longer than I planned for. Even with my scaled back garden, I’ve still had a hard time keeping up with watering and making sure that my plants have what they need to flourish. (I gave up on the hanging baskets halfway through the growing season. I just couldn’t keep up.)

My hope is that as Sumner gets older, he’ll either spend time with me out in the garden or he’ll be able to occupy himself long enough for me to get some meaningful work done. With that said, it’s time for me to get outside and take advantage of his nap!

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