Gonzo Gardening10 Mar 2003
I don't do garden work. If Mama wants to bring peace and beauty to her little corner of the world, and she benefits from the quiet satisfaction that it brings, well, she's welcome to it. But that's not for me.
I'll do garden work if it's destructive in nature. Mowing the lawn is just slightly destructive. I actually hate it... I suspect Mama keeps planting obstacles in the lawn just to annoy me. Raking leaves, on the other hand, is not destructive at all. It's just pointless, since the leaves keep coming back, until it's late winter, and the remaining leaves from fall are clumped together in a slimy mess. Only then does it make sense to gather leaves, and it's much easier as well.
Compost is a fine destructive activity, although the decomposition of organic material is much too slow to gain any immediate satisfaction from it. In the meantime, it's not just a slimy mess, but a smelly slimy mess infested by various creepy crawly creatures of the night. We used to rigorously deposit our food scraps on the compost pile. We now leave them for the county landfill, along with the rest of our trash. They decompose there just as well.
This past weekend we engaged in an extremely satisfying and destructive garden activity (that doesn't even involve a roto-tiller), namely trimming the wild roses. Wild roses grow like weeds, a meter or two each year, so you can trim them down to the roots and they'll still come back as happy and thorny as ever. So you can pick an arbitrary height (say, 30 cm), trim all branches that extend any higher, plus any others that you don't like the look of. That's the quick, fun part. The slow, tedious part is gathering and cutting up the thorny branches. Since we don't have the ultimate plaything for destructive gardeners, a shredder, we have to cut the branches down to a portable size and haul them away.
Ouch, I see I still have a thorn in one of my knuckles. The roses are still exacting their revenge.