Posted by: Mark Nielsen | May 20, 2007

Home & Garden Junkies

I need more tags. Today the new one is “Home & Garden”. Who knows what new tags I might create tomorrow. (Did someone say “Food”?) Despite my earlier intention not to create 200 separate blog tags and categories (thus rendering the sort-and-group capabilities of cyberspace useless), eight to ten just ain’t enough… even when “The Universe” is one of the tags.

My neighbor asked this morning why we weren’t up in Wisconsin this weekend. I must admit I’ve been asking the same question all week. But chores and ungraded papers tend to pile up in Skokie, so between that and some new plants to get in the ground, we’re staying home this weekend. By spending so much time last summer building retaining walls and landscape areas up north at Grayhaven, we ended up neglecting the garden in Skokie. Now after a weird winter, we need to pull some dead plants and shrubs, make some shrub changes to the front to accent our nice new Prairie Style bay window, and as always, weed weed weed.

Farming and gardening are our attempts to bend nature, in some small way, to our will. But there are always those weeds we get tangled in: bad habits that creep in, sloth, competing parties, even the chaos of nature taking its course, like so many dandelions doing what dandelions do to spread their seed. This is what makes gardening so much like life… as suggested in the parable of Jesus about the farmer’s three kinds of seeds and where they fell (though some translations say the failed seeds fell among thorns, not weeds– not that there’s a big difference).

I still don’t consider myself an avid gardener, because I don’t much enjoy the process itself (planning, purchasing, planting and perpetuating). But I do enjoy the finished product: the smell of a lilac bush, the odd twist and bend of a hazelnut tree, the color of snapdragons, the thrill of our favorites, columbine, reseeding themselves and coming back even stronger than before.

Ready, set, dig!



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