The Frustrated Gardener
by Jarad Johnson
Commentary by Julie
Readers, I am frustrated. Flummoxed. Disconcerted with my garden. The soil seems unhappy with me, and I with it. Because I planted little seedlings over a month ago, and they have done nothing. Zilch. They have sat there, alive at least, staring at me as weeds have grown around them. You see, we have had some unseasonably cool weather, and it has stunted the growth of my annuals. And how does one enjoy the garden when it. Just. Does. Nothing. It’s a little discouraging, and the connection with nature I seek to foster seems to flounder. Or, at least, stagnate. O mother earth, why can I not enjoy the growth of the seedlings that I hath planted? Hast thou forsaken me?
Morty: A bit dramatic are we?
Yes, that’s a little dramatic, and no, nature is ever present, but still. This is my post, and I shall whine about stupid things as I see fit. And yes, I could be doing more important things, but I would rather be gardening. Leave me alone, problems. I can’t see you through the weeds.
Julie: At least your weeds are doing ok! Ha! I’m going to write my memoirs someday and the title will be All My Weeds Are Evergreen.
I think I would be a lot happier with my outdoor space if the weeds were a little more subdued. You see, the position one has to contort themselves in to pull the weeds hurts both my knees and my back. Am I actually 80 years old, not 22? Sure feels like it. Even for an 80-year-old, I’m doing very poorly for myself. I actually just ordered a kneeling pad, and I think that will make a big difference in my reluctance to turn myself into a pretzel to pull the newest crop of Bermuda grass.
Julie: Oh, my sweet summer child! Wait until you’re 54
Morty: Or dead.
Okay, guys. I get it. It's all downhill from here. Another frustration of mine are the hollyhocks. Ugh, don’t even speak the name! For it carries with it memories of horror and dread from time past. You see, readers, hollyhocks are one of my favorite plants. The old fashioned, cottagey plants tower over a garden bed, charming and striking at the same time. My hollyhocks reached seven feet in height this year, and then. Disaster struck. The leaves, the size of my hand, began to fall off. One by one, they turned yellow and fell to the ground. I don’t have much experience with garden diseases, and I had no clue what was going on. Slowly, I watched my beautiful hollyhocks became sticks with a few blooms. After copious amounts of research, I discovered that it was rust, a common problem with hollyhocks in humid and wet environments (thanks, the American South! There’s so much to not like about you!) It was time. Enough! They had become eyesores, and could possibly infect other plants, so I took my shears and cut them right down to the base. Rest in piece(s), dear friends.
Morty: I think some hollyhocks just sprung up in my Netherworlds garden. Probably those. Thank you kindly.
Julie: You’d think English cottage plants would be happy in wet weather. I suppose it’s the fact that the heat turns the south into a giant sauna that they object to.
Well, giant sauna or not, I'm planting more hollyhocks next year. It’s been a weird year, in life and gardening. Weather fluctuations, a massive crop of weeds, and plants sitting still! They’re all alive, at least! And I learned that I require a greenhouse. Immediately, please.
Julie: Ok. I’m all for that. You can grow things for me too!
Morty: And I can sit in it during the winter and bake my bones
Jarad recently graduated from college at MTSU, loves tea and coffee, and tries to spend every spare second reading. He is a fervent gardener and is fascinated by all related topics and has spent several years writing about this passion. He has been gardening for 6 years and believes that Nature is our greatest teacher. He majored in English with a concentration in literature and plans to pursue and master’s degree in Ecocriticism.