The Lucky Gardener


The ‘Paranoid’ Gardener
March 25, 2010, 19:07
Filed under: Uncategorized

“Now is the winter of our discontent.”
- William Shakespeare, Richard III

As I set fingers to keyboard, mid way through the month of March, a blanket of snow still covers the ground outside my studio. When, in a normal season, I would be following the progressive emergence of bulbs and greening tips of perennials, my current garden view is of the messy flower spikes from last year’s perennials I’ve neglected to cut back.

“Yes! There will be growth in the spring!”Chance the Gardener (Jerzy Kosinski – Being There)

Needing to justify last seasons’ lack of initiative, I cultivated a back up plan to get out early this year – before new growth starts in earnest. That would be right about now. With the snow and inevitable rain and mud we’ll get in March/April, my already delayed timetable seems in jeopardy.

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.“
- Victor Hugo

Even before the weather interfered, my lapse of resolve for mundane gardening tasks led to self-doubt towards getting the work done at all. Aside from last year’s leftovers, there is storm-related damage to trees and shrubs to deal with, lugging the debris to a truck and schlepping it all to the dump. My knees hurt at the mere thought of it all. Besides, it’s warm and dry in the house.

A little Madness in the spring is wholesome.” – Emily Dickinson

I’ll need some serious inspiration to accomplish my goals in a timely manner. Confronting failure and potential public contempt should get me out the door. I awake startled at night, imagining the specter of ever-spreading ridicule for my unkempt gardens. I would be exposed as a fraud. Sponsorships revoked. The backlash would be disastrous to my family’s reputation. Surely these likely consequences would be enough to arm me with the energy I’ll need to get the pruning shears out and go at it. Or will it?

I like to watch.” – Chance the Gardener (Jerzy Kosinski – Being There)

At long last facing its magnitude, I realize I can’t do the work alone. Deflated and terrified, I suddenly remember my cadre of gardeners lying in wait for the season to begin. With renewed stimulus, I enlist the hoard for the pruning, sawing and disposal needed to maintain the family’s good name. So bolstered by the dozen extra hands, I take the role of overseer, directing and critiquing at a shovel’s length.


“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”
- Margaret Atwood

Knowing all will be right by day’s end, I become the ‘gentleman farmer’, digging and pruning only as I please. My neuroses were for naught. As it turned out, there was a solution for my gardening problems. I wonder, however, if anyone on my crew can help with my irrational issues, as well.



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