Friday, August 11, 2006

August gardens

Benign neglect in the perennial bed

This is often a hard time of year for some gardeners. It has been a long slog: tilling, planting, watering, weeding...and now harvest time approaches, and, well...interest has waned. I am not sure if it is a product of overambitious plans in the spring, or too much going on in one's summer life, or a form of ADD, but there are many gardens out there that are green with weeds and overripe produce, spent blossoms, etc. And it makes me sad.

Not to sound too high and mighty, but I can't imagine getting tired of the gardens. Yes, I prioritize, which means I also neglect some things, but on the whole, the cultivated areas of our land are on the trajectory they should be on at this time. This is what I have dreamed of all winter and spring! Small dreams, mind; but dreams nonetheless.

The one area I will admit that I have neglected is the large perennial bed I began a year ago. I have deadheaded, I have weeded, I have mulched, but it certainly needs to be weeded again, and I have not made the time for that. But the plants are doing very well despite my inattention. I guess that is the secret: know what the plants need, and know when they can just be on their own. I am sure there are parallels to childrearing in there, too. Hopefully I will heed my own advice when that time comes.

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