The Garden

Our Garden

The Garden

If you think that gardening is girly think again.  I’ve discovered a whole new way to work out.  One of the recurring themes in the string of Army-provided homes we’ve occupied is customization.  This is normally the phase that follows after the Denial, Occupation, Dispair, Repair, and Physical Recovery phases.  It is an attempt to make your home more yours, even though you know damn well it will last only as long as the Army lets you live there.

All such efforts represent a balancing of one’s need for a Zen activity and willingness to part with cash in support of said effort.  My/Our current gardening effort is a perfect example.  Most home stores sell cheap plants.  Low cost, high impact.  Taking it up a level, you can add vegetables, herbs and spices.  More cost, but if you can grow food, it kind of pays you back. 

Personal effort, I should note, is assumed as a zero-cost addition and activity.  Therefore, the hauling of rocks around the yard, the hole-digging, nightly watering, and Waterhead-String-Trimmer-Guy-Deterrent-Barrier building is a direct result of yours truly’s strong back and weak mind.  This is the tie-back to the new workout.  Three consecutive Mondays in the office (when I’m actually home that is) have seen people asking me why I’m walking stiffly.  You do that many squats and bend-overs and see if you walk normally the next day.  Lactic acid is a bitch and also has a way of keeping you focused.  As in, “I’m focused on trying to walk, please shut up.”

I’m in luck in that we live in the Missouri River Valley, so the soil will pretty much allow you to grow whatever you accidentally drop.  I sneezed once and grew a Booger Plant.  The garden began with a simple ring of rocks surrounding an old stump in the strip of grass between our neighbors’ and our quarters (Armyspeak for house).  After a week of careful weeding and flower-planting, it looked great.  Then Winter hit and shit died.  This Spring, recalling the acceptable results, I expanded the ring, re-weeded, and planted more stuff.  Then it looked so awesome Di got involved, and my Personal Effort category grew, as did the monetary commitment.

Right now, we’ve completely used fully half the buffer strip and now have expanded to the small but sunny grass patch around behind the house.  This rapid and massive expansion supports basil, tomatoes, dill, peas, three types of peppers and my favorite: brussels sprouts.  Pumpkins and squash came by serendipity as a result of me not yet mastering the technique of mulching.  I’m thankful that our neighbors are easygoing.  They’ve even pitched in some stuff too.  As I mentioned, a fence to keep out rodents and dimwitted string trimmer dudes went up last weekend.

There is some element of awesomely amazing in the process of picking out a small plant, installing it carefully in the Earth, and tending it so that after a week or so you are rewarded with an amazing burst of life.  Watching happy plants kinda move in the wind like they’re dancing in a techno club (never mind) is cool.  In the end, there is a high level of personal satisfaction to be realized when you are sitting on your stoop with raw fingertips, creaking back, fatigued everything-from-the-hips-down, sunburn, dehydration, and a good cold beer while you survey the progress.

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2 Responses to “The Garden”

  1. outkast86 Says:

    Welcome to a style of meditation used by monks all over the world since the dawn of time. Focusing on bringing life grants peace, reflection, a calming sensation of nurturing something into existence for a purpose.

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