BJ Garrett is one of my gardening buddies in town and she was bemoaning the fact that it was so difficult to find help. She said, “I sometimes wish I had a landscape instead of a garden.” I looked at her curiously and she went on, “I can get all the mowers and blowers I want, heck they are like blaring ants crawling all over the neighborhood, but I don’t dare let any of them into my garden.”
People who don’t play in the dirt do not understand what BJ meant, but those of us who actually “garden” understand her sentiments well. It is one of the downsides of gardening – it is so personal that we have to trust the person helping. We can always use a strong back, but in the case of garden help, a little more is needed. It would be nice if they could distinguish the difference between a weed and your unusual plant, could recognize that larkspur seedlings in the spring should not be ripped out, and know that tree peonies should not be pruned to the ground.
However, this is unlikely to happen, unless you have better luck than I in bringing your children into the garden fold, or finding students at the local schools who not only need the money but also like plants. If you can, embrace them, for you, like the rest of us, will have a desire for ibuprofen long before you lose the desire to dig in the dirt.
As for me, I will always enjoy the solitude of my garden, even though surrounded by bilious blowers in the yard next door. So next time I am speaking at one of your garden meetings and I ask for the definition of a yard, you will understand when I explain, “A yard is where prisoners exercise, we are building gardens.”
A Garden.....and a Yard.