“There is no gardening without humility. Nature is constantly sending even its oldest scholars to the bottom of the class for some egregious blunder.”
— Alfred Austin
When you’re a gardener, there are some years that are just . . . tough.
Things happen, and despite our best intentions and plans, our gardens suffer as a result. When that happens to me, (as it does) I end up just . . . writing the the whole thing off, and hoping for a better year next year. Like the summer of 2007 when we got a puppy (that would be Jenny), for example, and she trampled, chewed, and dug up nearly every plant in my garden. Or the summer of 2016 when my mom was ill and dying, and I was too absent (in more ways than one) to tend my garden.
Or . . . this year – 2022, as it turns out. (I’ve decided to call it The Year of Extenuating Circumstances.)
Oh, things started out well, sure. My garden had its fine, early moments back in May and June. But . . . then my garden endured 2 1/2 weeks of our exterior “renovation” and painting project in July. It wasn’t terrible, but definitely disrupted things. Then it was ravaged by deer in September, which was heartbreaking. Then came my Covid experience, and I wasn’t really in the mood to do much of anything – let alone fall garden chores – for weeks. And now? Well . . . (I haven’t even told you about this one) we’ve got the roofing-project-from-hell going on here (now HELD OVER for the 4th big week!), and it has been a disaster for everything garden-related (and my very soul, but oh well).
(Look! The deer missed a few oakleaf hydrangea leaves!)
So as of this week, I’m officially writing off . . . My Garden of 2022. Due to Extenuating Circumstances. The fall chores will remain undone. The remaining weeds will be there to plague me come spring. The transplanting will wait. The time to assess the damage from the roofers will come later. (Please let them be finished before I have to invite them to Thanksgiving dinner.)
Some years are like this.
But we gardeners are optimists!
There’s always . . . next year . . . to look forward to.
“Gardening simply does not allow one to be mentally old, because too many hopes and dreams are yet to be realized.”
— Allen Armitage
PS — For the record . . . the flag-fence continues to do its job. No deer – or deer poop – sightings in my garden since Tom installed the flag-fence. (And we’ve seen plenty deer out and about in the front yard and neighborhood, including an 8-point buck!)