Thursday, 10 April 2008


My relationship with my vegetable garden is a threesome and sometimes one or more of us forgets our place. Lately Nature has been very recalcitrant, tempting Garden and me with cool breezes and little showers and then scooping up all the clouds and whisking them away again, like a spoiled child who, after deciding to share her toys, snatches them back and runs home. Then I get a bit annoyed at Nature but take it out on Garden by refusing to sow any more seeds until we get some real rain. Garden is caught in the middle with nowhere to go, so at times he just sulks or up and dies completely, just to prove a point to Nature and me! It is a stormy relationship.
After all these years of dealing with Garden and Nature, you would think I would be able to speak their languages fluently but misunderstandings still occur. Like when I planted some garlic, forgot where the last row was and went and sowed peas all over them, then couldn't decide what to do and left poor Garden to fight it out. Nature has the fieriest temperament of all of us though, especially in recent years, and often won't communicate with Garden or me and we are left, lost in a maze, wondering if it is summer or winter, until Nature settles down again .
Some people try to control Garden and defy Nature by using all sorts of chemical tricks, for example to kill Nature's helpers, the aphids. If left alone Garden and Nature sort through these problems but sometimes People spray things around which disrupt Nature's humour when lots of her other innocent friends start dying along with the aphids. When Nature gets really angry she sends in the overnight annihilators, earwigs and snails and sometimes the big guys - the chooks! Then you had better stand back and re-evaluate your whole relationship and maybe consider having some time apart so everyone can cool down!

When I go away on holidays, Nature and Garden have a wonderful time getting up to mischief, like naughty puppies, just so they can laugh at me when I get home. If I set the watering system to cater for hot weather, Nature sends lots of rain and cold winds which makes all the weeds grow and all my bean frames blow over. Garden then germinates a surprise pumpkin seed and allows it to overgrow the whole cucumber patch as well as the lettuce. Sometimes this backfires on Garden, however, because I rip into him and tear out all the pumpkin vine and the ruined beans and feed it to the chooks and start again, just to show who is meant to be boss here. Why won't Garden and Nature ever grow up and be nice to me?

Nature, Garden and me - we are in this relationship for the long haul - for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer....until my death parts us because they will be here forever, laughing at the next poor gardener!


Pattie Baker said...

Very nicely written, Kate! I was just saying today, as I put summer seeds in the garden (including yours!), "Well, that's that. Now we just have to see what happens. We've done out part for now, and we'll go where the garden wants us to go from here." Every year it's different! I'm just along for the journey!

AlexF said...

That's great mum, I love it!

joco said...

I was going to say that, alex. And I will too: I LOVE IT!!

Makes me feel sooo much better knowing that others are at odds with Nature as well at times.
(Up a gum tree? Sorry about being rude about your national tree, Kate.)

Quite a way with words you have.

Anonymous said...

Maybe kate you can work on being a more contemplative gardener & maybe help nature when she is week , develop that 6th sence, intuition & trust it.

Kate said...

Lighten up Deb, this is meant to be a fun post not a serious analysis!

Thanks Joco, Alex and Pattie. I had fun writing it too.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone else gets peeved at Nature. It's a bit like accepting actions from friends more readily than the same action from a relative. I wonder if Nature is a relative, because I really get ticked off with Nature at times!!! Barb