On gardening

Gardening makes no sense. It’s entirely based on the idea that whatever grows naturally and profusely is a weed and whatever does not want to stay alive regardless of what you try to do is something you want in your garden.

One of the reasons why a plant does not want to stay alive in your garden is, apparently, distance from its fellow plants. Flower seed packets will tell you how far apart the plants should be planted: for example, leave 10 cm between plants in a row; 20 cm between rows. Because a plant will be more likely to tolerate a pal next to it rather than behind or in front of it, as you well know.

On the cover of the seed packet, you will also be treated to a beautiful picture of a fully-grown plant in full bloom. Typically this will also be a close-up of the pretty flowers, with the boring leaves carefully cropped out. Lovely. Only this does not help one bit when I’m trying to figure out which one of the seedlings sprouting from the ground are the ones I planted, and which are the dreaded weeds. Because honestly, as seedlings all plants look more or less the same. As young plants they do look different, but will anyone tell you what kind of a young plant you should be looking for if you’ve planted, say, sweet alyssum plants? Will they ‘eck. I now have four different kinds of plants growing in the area where I scattered sweet alyssum seeds. And, because nature is pretty clever, all four plants are now beginning to produce small, dainty flowers in bunches. But they’re all slightly different. I will have no way of telling which are the sweet alyssums until they’re all in full bloom.

Gardening sucks, really. Gardeners suck more, because they obviously have no idea of the kind of help non-gardeners need in their gardening pursuits. Grr.

In honour of all this green talk, my drink of choice is a light vinho verde, Casal Garcia. I think I will now top my glass and go and stare at my plants.

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