In preschool my peers and I put on a program about nursery rhymes. Each of us was assigned a rhyme, about which we were instructed to dress in order to personify. In our garbs, one by one we had to recite our assigned verse in front of a crowd of proud mothers and prehistoric-camcorder-toting fathers.
I was assigned Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary. I’m not sure whether there was a underlying purpose to the assignment of characters, but as it turned out, my rhyme was quite appropriate for me.
It’s been fitting for varying reasons throughout my existence.
>Until recently, the word ‘garden’ reminded me primarily of summer air so humid you could chew it… and sweatbees. Not to mention the feeling of dried red mud splattered up to my knees, and backbreaking tasks like weeding, and hoeing, and fertilizing, and watering, and all the while looking out for snakes, and Wheel Bugs, and Squash Bugs… and… and I hated it.
I did nothing to hide the fact that I hated it.
As an adult I am remorseful for being so transparent and potentially disappointing my grandfather with brat-like, ungrateful behavior.
Perhaps my open attitude toward growing edibles at this point in my life is a subconscious attempt at compensation for all of those years of reluctantly pretending to pull my weight.
At any rate, I now grow some things here and there, but in a rather unconventional way. My method would drive my grandfather bonkers.
There are no rows.
I do minimal weeding.
There is definitely no hoeing taking place.
I do have a small fenced plot, but only because we had an insanely energetic canine friend who knew no boundaries at the time of the garden’s conception and birth.
During the winter months we supplement the soil in the plot by using it as a compost area, which also cuts down on kitchen scraps filling up the trash.
This year’s plot featured cabbages and an array of string beans.
In no capacity is my gardening done by the book, but that’s alright by me.
We’ve now expanded the garden to include other random backyard spaces (the dog ran away some time ago, so plot protection is no longer necessary since the entire yard is fenced and rabbit-guarded).
So it’s come to be that most of my herbs and veggies serve the dual purpose of being ornamental as well as providing small harvests when needed. I’ve got a butternut squash plant that aimlessly crawls around the pond, rosemary bushes galore (one the size of a compact car!), and multiple patches of peppermint, which spreads easily and is a breeze to transplant and root.
So if ever asked, “Laura, Laura, in love with flora, how does your garden grow?”
The answer is: Everywhere.