I’m having gardener’s remorse.
Up until now I didn’t know that was a thing, but it’s a thing.
My big fat mouth got me in trouble last year when I went around waving my giant carrots and perfect, beautiful green beans around like I was Queen of the Prairie and I opened up a can of worms that’s too full now to close.
Yup, you probably remember it from last year. I dared say “My garden’s better than your garden” to Pops and now he’s throwing down the gauntlet.
And it’s not looking good for me.
In fact, at this point, I think I’ll be lucky to get a radish, seeing how, after ten trips to the garden (and ten back inside to soothe a fussy baby) I finally got the thing in a few weeks ago and now, no matter how I squint, I am pretty certain my peas are not coming up.
And neither is the spinach.
But even if they did decide to make an appearance, it would have only been to face the magic cow who somehow got by the dogs and the fence to take a little stroll through the beans and a stomp on the cucumbers, the only vegetation in the entire plot that showed promise, besides the thistle.
Meanwhile, down the road, Pops, who’s typically a pretty laid back horticulturalist, went to a special store and bought sheep poop for crying out loud!
I saw it in bags on his driveway in April and I knew shit was about to get real, in more ways than one you know…
And, before he had to endure last year’s episode of coming over to ask for tomatoes because his had contracted some unsightly spots, Pops would have shared this useful little gardening tip with me.
But not now. Nope. Because I guess I was a little too cocky about my endless supply of cucumbers and those spotless tomatoes, and, well, he’s just not having it.
Not this year.
This year he bought sheep poop.
And I’m not positive, but I think he let that cow in my yard…
Coming Home: Reaping what I sowed with garden boasting
by Jessie Veeder
Lord, it’s good to be humble.
It’s a lesson I’ve implemented in my daily life since discovering, at a young age, just as soon as I think things are moving along swimmingly is about the exact time I fall on my face.
Unless it comes to mini golf. Or bowling. Or board games … you know, all the things that matter most in life.
Yeah, give me a tiny golf club and I’ll ride it around the mini-golf course, galloping and whooping at my (lucky) hole-in-one. My team guesses my spot-on impression of Cher during a heated game of charades, and I am queen of the living room.
Get a strike in bowling, and the entire alley gets to witness my shopping cart/running man/stir-the-butter victory moves.
It’s obnoxious. People stare. And unless they’re on my team in charades, it makes my family roll their eyes.
But I’m afraid I’ve stepped out of my boasting comfort zone, taking that happy dance from the safety of the bowling alley and into a place where I might require a little more skill and a little less booze.
A place where talent and knowledge has been honed and passed on through the centuries by the masters of the craft.
A place that has been feeding men, women, children and the wily bunny for ages — the family garden.
I blame it on last summer’s pregnancy hormones. I think they made me overconfident in my ability to successfully grow things, and maybe those hormones had something to do with the big fat tomatoes, the giant carrots and the never-ending supply of beans that appeared in full force despite the fact that I didn’t get a thing planted until late June.
Or maybe it was the magic in the soil my husband dug from in front of the old barn where cows have been pooping for a million years, but oh Lord, did I have a great garden.
And Lord, did I ever brag about it.
Check the newspaper archives for August 2015. You’ll see the evidence.
And when Dad, the man who has been growing things since he was still growing himself, decided not to plant beans or peas because of the wily deer who sneaks in the fence for a snack every night and then found that his tomato plants turned up with spots, when he humphed about his garden looking a little shabby, well, I took it as an invitation to make sure my biggest carrots and most perfect tomatoes were on the table when he came over.
And then I sent him home with a plastic bag full of peas and an “I’m sure sorry about your garden” comment through the smirk on my face.
But now I’m in trouble.
Because apparently an arrogant horticulturalist doesn’t sit well with him, especially when he taught that arrogant horticulturalist everything she knows about planting carrot seeds and on her first attempt she’s somehow outdone him.
The man has found the whole thing entirely annoying, and now I’m afraid he’s stepping up his game in retaliation.
I sensed this might happen. There have been comments. Snide remarks. Sideways looks.
But it became pretty evident when I went over to his place earlier this spring to find 10 big bags of sheep manure waiting to be spread on that garden plot of his, a sign that he’s determined to put actual effort into a task that typically comes naturally to him and his green thumb.
And now I have a competition on my hands with the guy whom I rely on to water my garden when we’re out of town.
A competition that I’m currently losing because, with a baby in tow, it took me a good 10 attempts to get my garden in last week.
Dad? Well, his has been in since Memorial Day, just like the books tell you.
He’s in the zone, and I’m obsessively checking to see if the radishes have at least come up.
I think I better spend more time watering and less time on my victory dance.
Because, Lord, it’s good to be humble.
But, Dad, the growing season’s still young …