All of us who have gardens will have to decide soon if we are going to continue to be gardeners in 2020. You will know if you are going to be a gardener in the coming year if you can answer yes to six or more of the questions …
READY, SET, GROW!
1. Did you fail with a flower you love — with not even a glimmer of a silver lining (unless composting can be seen as a silver lining). And have you vowed to try again with that flower in 2020?
2. During the dry weeks last summer, did you mulch to preserve what little moisture remained in your soil? Did you use old newspapers and new newspapers as mulch, and every thingelse at hand and some things that were not — things you had to go out and buy, knowing full well that some of these mulches would be ugly and/or much too expensive, but you were willing to live with the ugliness and spend the money to save your plants?
3. Are you prepared to do it all again?
4. Do you save your old gardening catalogs, the ones that began arriving in December of 2019, as well those from earlier years, and do you absolutely know why you have not thrown them out?
ONLY 9 TO GO
5. Did you help the toads/frogs in your garden survive last summer by leaving a shallow bowl of water for them or a house made from an upside-down flower pot, tipped up a bit for an entrance-way?
6. Did you grow any annuals from seed? Did at least one of them thrive and were you proud of yourself when you put the dead plants on your compost pile after their season had passed? Did you think that this achievement may be as good as gardening gets?
7. Were you able and smart enough last year to buy things at garden centers in the early spring and not be stuck with what was left in late spring? Did you buy a straggly, woebegone plant in late spring out of sympathy, a plant thatneeded a good home? And did it thrive?
8. Did you put your houseplants outside for the summer months and were you reluctant to bring them in? Why? Are they a pain? Are they all prodigal sons that you were hoping would not come back — ever, ever, ever? Orare they like children who need special attention only half of the year?
INVEST IN GARLIC
9. Did the squirrels and moles seem less trouble than usual and the deer about the same?
10. Did you plant onions and garlic last fall, knowing that it was almost like investing in a sure thing — a “futures” transaction all your own?
11. Were you more or less overstockedwith bulbs late last fall? Did you (after you had reached the “enough digging for this year” stage) put the last 40 or so bulbs into pots that you sunk under a huge pile of leaves. Have you uncovered them? If not, you should, because you will now be rewarded for being lazy.
12. Did you watch a spider?
13. Did you decide to try again?
One-Eyed Owl is a local senior citizen and writer who enjoys many things, including anonymity.