The Scene: The sun is about to disappear entirely and my rooftop is now mostly illuminated by the painfully bright and orange security light next door. I am still outside moving pots around and pinching back basil flowers. My neighbor steps outside.
Me: I have been gardening for 7 or 8 hours straight. It started with a trip for some container soil and then over to the community garden to swap out a tomato for a tomatillo plant leading to hours of this, that, and the next. I can’t stop. I am unstoppable. Nothing’s gonna stop me now. Please make me stop.
Neighbor: Pete Flower Sunshine (not his real name but one of those local weather news garden experts with a cheesy nickname that I can’t recall at this time) says it’s gonna be a scorcher this weekend and that you should not do any gardening. “Do NOT garden!”, he says. “Stay inside and relax!”, he says. “Whatever you do, do not garden!”
Me: Well, I should have had enough by now. I don’t want to be gardening in 40 degree temperatures. Tomorrow I can be found laying around with a wet towel on my head.
The following morning I decide to watch an episode of Recreating Eden, a fantastic half-hour documentary show about gardeners and gardening that you should watch if you haven’t already. I am barely into the program before I find myself overcome with the urge to get outside and “finger some peas” [cough]. I MUST garden. No matter what I must get outside and garden. And so, just barely holding on until the end of the show, I rush downstairs to the street garden armed with worm castings, sea kelp, pruners, and assorted tools with the intention of doing just a little ‘light’ cleanup. Two hours later Davin and I are both extra sore, sweaty and covered in dirt having spent the entire time in full sun digging up a patch of daylilies that were recently crushed by yet another jerk looking for somewhere to urinate. In all fairness it was probably about 5-10 degrees cooler than the reported killer heatwave. But really, I have GOT to start planning my gardening activities and stop taking on large chores spontaneously. The garden looks just fine but I’m sure transplanting in those conditions was not easy on the plants. Do as I say, not as I do.
All-in-all I probably gardened for a total of 12-15 hours (I’m probably being generous here) over the course of 3 days. I could not stop. I had a lot to work out in my mind and a lot to procrastinate. Gardening is great for both. I didn’t come out with any solutions but I do feel satisfied with the massive list of activities that were accomplished and much less panicked about the things that were worrying me.
*In a recent Toronto Star article, writer Sonia Day noted that I was “fingering a pea vine” a phrase that sounds just a little bit dirty and one that I plan to use as a euphemism for gardening from now on.