Jerseygator's Blog


Zen and the Art of Garden Maintenance

Posted in Uncategorized by jerseygator on September 3, 2009

When I was a teenager, my father would make my sisters and I weed the front flower beds.  This is not one of my happier memories.  I saw absolutely no point in spending my Saturdays cleaning up a yard I took no interest in, and merely viewed the weeding as an onerous chore.  Keep in mind that we grew up in Florida, so not only was it oppressively hot, the humidity was in the 90’s.

Fast forward to today, where I spent an hour or so happily weeding my garden.  Wait a minute…happily?

Our back garden, fairly weed free

Our back garden, fairly weed free

If you live in South Jersey, you know that we’ve had an amazingly wet spring and summer; unsurprisingly, the weeds have not only gained a foothold but, because many of my days off from work were rainy, I could not go out to tackle them.  I kept looking out the kitchen window at my gardens and seeing, not beautifully maintained beds but messy, grassy plots.  However, I’ve learned something since those odious Saturday’s in Florida.

The weeds aren’t going anywhere.  There is no better time than weeding to get to know your plants, examine your soil, or just watch a ladybug.  I don’t garden with an iPod on, or a radio in the background.  I like the sound of my neighborhood, low flying planes and all.  I enjoy pulling up the occasional vegetable to see how they’re progressing or find a hidden ripe pepper amongst the leaves.  As a fairly new gardener, I can still marvel at how a few scattered seeds in May can turn into leeks, peppers, and carrots in September.

I don’t ask my kids to help me in the garden.  My husband sometimes gets on me about having them come outside and lend a hand, but I manage people in my job all week.  I don’t want to tamper my enjoyment by having someone out there who’s performing tasks grudgingly and who I have to supervise.  Perhaps those hot Saturdays in Florida are still a part of my memory.  Whatever the reason, I’ll happily handle the weeding myself.

And Daddy, I forgive you.

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