A challenging summer for gardeners


A friend recently posted on Facebook, “If I love gardening so much, why am I so bad at it?”

From the quite pathetic looks of my garden so far this season, she pretty much echoed my thoughts. The only redemption is that this summer I can blame at least some of the trouble on our terribly dry weather. The rest of it is on my shoulders.

I guess I should have started watering the garden sooner. I finally got tired of waiting for God to water it and got out a long hose to reach the garden, a process that shouldn’t be involved but somehow always is after I find two hoses that fit together, get the kinks out of said hoses, and hook them up properly to the faucet. If you’ve ever done any kind of lawn or garden work, you know the drill.

This time I finally got everything in order and gave the poor parched plants a nice drink. Of course, about two hours later the lightning storm started and we got our first rain in weeks.

I guess I should have watered my garden sooner.

That’s just one of the mysteries of gardening. I know I’m not the only one pondering just why it is that weeds thrive with no attention when too often the plants that have been carefully selected, planted in just the right spot, tenderly babied and loved, and perhaps even fertilized, seem to thumb their noses at my efforts and somehow just don’t thrive.

I remember one time when I traveled in Colorado and noticed a lovely tree growing on a barren rock mountain. There it was, all alone, growing right up out of that rock. The tree was located way too high to be tended or fertilized, as far as I could tell, and couldn’t have received any other kind of love. I certainly don’t always have that kind of success with new trees I have fussed over after I planted them In our wonderful black Iowa soil.

Most of our lawns are brown and crunchy after such a long time without rain this summer. The only green to be seen when you look out across a lawn comes from the hardy weeds that pop up and are growing just fine. When I finally mowed my lawn after almost four weeks, it was because the weeds had grown, not the grass. In fact, I couldn’t really tell where I’d been with the mower just by looking at the grass. But the weeds were still there, standing up proudly in the brown grass that surrounded them.

Yes, it is a challenging summer for everything alive and growing. I hope it means we will appreciate the vegetables we get from our gardens even more.