hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


July 13, 2012

Poor Tom's Almanac: A garden that grows amok

For the life of me, I cannot seem to grow a garden straight. In fact, I can't even get it to grow period. All I seem to get is an exercise in futility — not fertility.

I don't really need a garden, given my condo living. But we have one of those whiskey barrels out front, just to give the place some color. The petunias I planted there seem to have gotten inebriated.

A bigger concern is our summer place by the lake. We have a nice patch of earth by the side of the cabin facing the water. Now what piece of horticulture wouldn't mind germinating there with the sun and water in equal doses?

Half those petunias decided to rebel and show just leaf, no color. Maybe it's the weeds I tried to skirt beneath the ground that are raising havoc.

I committed a cardinal sin. In my haste to dig up a weed patch, I inadvertently caught some of my wife's favorite flowers and tossed them into the rubble.

How was I to know? I can't tell the difference between impatiens and something that isn't so "patient." To me they looked like weeds with a different color.

"I'm crushed," she groaned. "You dug up my favorite perennials. One was a gift from my Aunt Elizabeth. She's dead and these flowers were all I have left to remind me of my favorite aunt."

Gads! No malice was intended. I didn't know they were a floral shrine. We have only a small garden. For some reason this spring, it went haywire with weeds.

By now, you may have guessed my plight. Gardening to me is the tall glass of lemonade and hassock that come after my back gives out. I'd rather spend the afternoon writing a story about my gardening escapades than actually living them.

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