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TideWriters Tales
Learning the Hard Way~A Novice Gardenerís Good Intentions
     By Brenda Lee Renwick

     I always thought that gardening was one of my hobbies, but lately Iíve realized that it isnít so. Iím merely a flower lover; I should do my Ďgardeningí at a floristís shop.

     Iíve had good intentions and great plans, but sometime after the sprouting and blooming, I fall short. Whoever would have thought thereíd be so much work involved? And gardens donít bloom well in the weather I like for outdoor work: crisp and cool.

     I donít like dirt under my fingernails (and somehow the gloves always wear out there first). I really hate bugs, especially spiders, although ladybugs arenít too bad if you donít look closely. When itís hot out, I crouch within my air conditioned sanctum and pray for autumn. Deadheading? Weeding? Even a well mulched garden needs some weeding. Watering is okay; it can even be relaxing, particularly as itís done in the cooler part of the day. But what about those pesky moles? And Japanese beetles? Ugh.

     I thought perennials would be a good idea: plant Ďem and leave Ďem. You get a good return on your investment. Digging and dividing? My daylilies have overrun the places Iíve planted them, but I doubt that Iíll do anything about them. My wisteria has never yet bloomed, but Iím afraid of heights (and spiders!) and probably wonít climb up to prune it.

     I didnít realize what a mistake it was to plant roses in a clearing in the woods, or that Iíd have to spray apple trees frequently. (They both made a fine meal for the beetles.) Miniature roses do much better, and have survived my occasional pruning efforts.

     If I ever start popping out bestsellers on a regular basis, I will hire someone to attend to all the gardens and planters that I have, in my ignorant zeal, scattered all around my property. I pictured my front and back yards as possible covers for House Beautiful or Better Homes and Gardens. Instead, they look like a derelict greenhouse abandoned to the wild.

     My daffodils bloom faithfully, and itís cool enough when they do to go out and enjoy them. After that, everythingís on its own. 

© 2003 Brenda Lee Renwick. All Rights Reserved. 
Contact Brenda Renwick at

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