Posts Tagged ‘novice gardener’

Virgin territory

In gardening, poetry on September 13, 2010 at 4:39 am

I am lost in the garden.

I wasn’t raised on vegetables, rarely saw them on my dinner plate. On occasions when they did crowd my meat I’d send them back to wherever the Green Giant’s valley was. In college, Lois and I would go to the cafeteria for food. This continued as our life style when we married. When I was away in Australia on business, Lois had the oven removed and put a closet in it’s place, we kept the dishwasher for a file cabinet.    

When we lived in Manhattan, we’d speed-dial the hundreds of restaurants on the Upper East Side.  Faster than you can say TV dinner, the doorbell would buzz, and the kids would sing out their Pavlovian chorus, “The food man is here!”

When we moved to California, we concentrated on neighborhoods with the best schools for the kids and knew we’d be happy on the West Coast when we found a house in a cul-de-sac near the beach, with white carpet, a pool and walking distance to Jack in the Box.

I admit I am a lover of fast food. The bright plastic environments are happy and energizing; they always have big windows, all-you-can-drink sodas and I can always count on liking the chicken, burgers and fries.

Today though I am fumbling in the garden with a clumsy lover’s desire to touch mysterious places. I have a need to plant seeds, I want to grow vegetables, I am excited to taste their strangeness. I just don’t know where to start. I am having performance anxiety.

I am new in the garden. I sit down by the dirt.  “Teach me.”


Returning the rocks to the ocean

In gardening, poetry, relationships, spirituality, Uncategorized on September 10, 2010 at 3:16 am

All the early morning trips to the beach collecting rocks, hauling canvas bags of them up the bouldery hill to the station wagon, knowing I was stealing from the planet, worried about getting caught by the rock police. Unloading the thousands of pounds of ‘smoothies,’ ‘craggies,’ ‘striped ones’ and ‘faces’ and placing them around the house creating a dried riverbed in front, where the Home Owners Association prescribes  a choice of 3 standard lawn grasses. Singing in my head, happy at the importance of this act of creation and defiance. So bold as to not to heed my wife’s warnings about my back, or my back’s throbbing agreement. My teeth gripped down, locking back groans.

Three years later here I am, doing the same thing, only in reverse, digging the rocks up from where I so caringly placed each,  filling up the same misshapen bags, bringing the rocks back to their beach home. A suburban performance of Myth of Sisyphus.

I’m going to create and tend to a fruit and vegetable garden. Along with the rocks, which I’m certain have multiplied since their planting, I’m uprooting the plants and flowers whose names I don’t know from this 6 x 21 foot raised bed area in the North West part of our backyard.

I have big plans for cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini, lettuce and onions.

I’m worrying about irrigation, mulch, nutrients, organics.

This should change my life, don’tcha think.