Sunday, September 26, 2010

To Plant a Garden is to Live in Hope

All human wisdom is summed up in two words – wait and hope. Alexander Dumas

I’m sitting here this evening in front of an open window, with a blanket on my lap,  enjoying the drop in temperature. After a horribly hot and humid summer, the change in weather this weekend has been like a gift from God.

Our usual Memphis summer was especially brutal this year, so bad that I completely let the yard and gardens go. It was too hot, too buggy and I felt too defeated trying to give the soil enough water to keep everything green.

Despite the hours planning, planting and praying this spring, I gave up on growing my own organic vegetables. Why stand outside in oppressive humidity when I can go to the farmers’ market or Whole Foods? Real Southern women have vegetable gardens. Well I never claimed to be or want to be a real Southerner! So forget it.

Even my flower gardens that I usually so lovingly take care of became neglected. The weeds in the front garden had totally overgrown what little planted life was left, and when asked when I was going to take care of it, my answer was always “when it’s not 100 degrees outside.”

Well this was the weekend.  I got down and got dirty pulling weeds, trimming back the perennials and basically just enjoying the breeze and cooler temps. Ah yes, I remember this. I remember enjoying being in the yard, making my home attractive and inviting.

As I sat on the porch swing this afternoon watching the kids and dogs run and enjoy the cooler temps, my thoughts turned to next spring. Maybe I’ll plant some tulips along the sidewalk.  I’ll need to buy more mulch. And yes, I’ll even attempt another vegetable garden again.

Hope. Even though intelligently I know today’s cooler weather is a hint of the rainy dreary winter to come. Even though I know next summer is bound to be another long string of 100 plus temperature days, droughts and humidity. I still have hope.  Hope that the daffodils will poke up in March, my lilies will bloom in June and even hope that by July I’ll be picking tomatoes and zucchini from my little backyard garden.

For now I enjoy the hint of autumn, I wait to make it through the winter, and I have hope that next spring will bloom beautiful and bountiful.


  1. I've always wanted to have a vegetable garden too. A friend of mine was telling me about something called square foot gardening in raised beds. I think I'm going to make one small 4x4 box and give that a try next year.

  2. Mine is a version of square foot gardening. I forgot you weren't able to make it to Yoga on the Deck to see the gardens before they all died. Just be careful if you follow the book Square Foot Gardening. He mixes something in his soil that yes will help the veggies grow, but it's not organic! I can't remember what the chemical is now off the top of my head. Actually I got compost from the cotton plant up in Brighton and it really perked up the garden. I'll do that again next year too.

  3. Don't lie---it's organic. It's not like you'll produce inorganic, plastic fruit.

    Wait--did I let my hatred of the use of "organic" slip out? They really should have come up with another name that meant certain chemicals were not used growing the product (because again---chemicals in everything) other than the word organic.

    Gardening will just have to wait for me--unless I start giving up sleep or if I can figure out how to do once every 12 week gardening. But I'll love seeing your gardens come together!