Saturday, September 30, 2006

Garden Metaphor

I am going to give this a shot. In my mind I know exactly what I mean, but sometimes I don’t really get it out clearly enough. Majoring in English, I learned to find allegories in everything - especially when it comes to gardening. I mean I knew the metaphors, but I never KNEW them until My Sweet got me actually gardening a few years ago. So here are a few things I have noticed.

1. The things that seem in the way can sometimes give us the shelter we need. We bought a huckleberry bush a few years ago - mostly because I thought it would be cool to have something that lends its name to a Finn and a Hound. However, over the past two years it has taken up an enormous percentage of our tiny garden plot. I mournfully thought we would have to uproot them in order to plant to grow some tomatoes and cucumbers - which have often failed in scorching California summers. We haven’t gotten rid of it and this year the sensitive, vine plants have interwoven with the Huckleberry branches, and the shade is actually encouraging growth.

2. Weeds are insidious, and if you do not pull them out quickly they will take root and spread. The weeds in our life really do need to be taken care of. However, as I mistakenly prematurely harvested some weedy looking green onions, not everything is bad for your - no demons found under each rock.

3. They say that if you like something, then it must be either bad for you or illegal. But some things that are good for you can be beautiful. Our eggplants and squash have gorgeous blossoms. And then they produce vitamin filled veggies.

4. Earlier I talked about my gardening philosophy and how it connects to how I deal with students. For those of you who are wondering, my Student stopped by a week or so ago and is doing well. Still clean and sober and getting ready to head to community college in the spring.

P.S. If I had my way I would reclassify a few things. Brussels sprouts would get a healthy dose of DDT, and dandelions would be cultivated for the ones that produce the biggest puffballs.

Joie de Vivre ~ A Hearty Joy of Living!


Confused Husband said...

When I was a kid I grew up on the outskirts of Redding. Not sure if you know where thats at. But we used to have a huge garden there every year. For the 6 years we lived there we never bought veggies at the grocery store. We grew all of our own. Tomatoes had no problems with the heat up there. In fact after about 2 years they would grow on there own in places we didn't want them.

I really miss those days. I loved going out to the garden to get fresh veggies for the dinner table. Then my mom would can an entire winters worth in the summer as well. MMMMM homemade jelly and jam. Come to think of it we never bought beef or pork at the store either. Butchered one every year.

Those were the good old days.

Just Me said...

CH - I actually do know where Redding is. I grew up in Oroville (spitting distance from Chico) and we would play you guys in football. It is also the place where it gets so hot that the soles of your sandals melt on the pavement.

So what is your secret? In the past our tomatos often wither on the vine or are bitter, but we were trying to grow them in pots. I am open to suggestions. I am working on my canning skills, but our garden is so small it usually doesn't produce enough to can.

Sue said...

Just wanted to say thanks for visiting me. I've enjoyed looking around your blog. I'll visit you again soon and hope to see you again too!

plainandsimple said...

I love this...particularly the weeds...I was once told by a Japanese girl I used to know that the Japanese and the British have a lot in common, culturally...she thought it was something to do with being proud , island nations...I know we are both big gardening nations...just food for thought! What does your DH think?

Just Me said...

Sue: Welcome to the commenting clan. I have enjoyed yours as well, and this weekend I will take some time to explore more.

P&S: I do think there is a lot of similarities between the two cultures. In addition to what you mentioned, I think you both have a well developed use of subtlety.

O272 said...

I've got a yard full of kids and weeds over here. Sometimes, it's hard to tell the difference! ;)

Confused Husband said...

I know where Oroville is as well. Just made a trip up there a few months ago. I left the Redding area when I started the 6th grade back in 86. So I haven't done any gardening since then. I know we used to grow beef steak, cherry, and some other type of tomatoe.

I'm not really sure what we did. We had a 2 acre garden that I tilled every year. Then we'd plant the seeds or started plants. Due to the heat we watered daily. Picked weeds every weekend.

I'm not sure if there was anything else that we did that was "special". Go ahead and email me through my profile if you want to know anything else. I loved to have the garden when I was a kid. We grew so much stuff it was great.

Just Me said...

CH - I have just a littel six foot by six foot area for planting. I am sure it ground needs a good dose of nutrients. When spring gets near I will pick your brain a bit more.

o272 - totally cute!