I’ve been obsessed with blogging lo these many months, and of course petsitting nabbed the Fixation Award for a while there, but I have another passion you might not know about: flower gardening.

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It wasn’t always this way.  After a decade of vegetable gardening at our previous home, in a backyard patch that was way too big for two people, I was thoroughly sick of the once-fun hobby that had come to feel like an onerous chore.  But there’s nothing like moving into a house with seemingly miles of border gardens – sorely neglected and overrun with hip-high weeds but ripe with potential – to re-establish a love of digging in the dirt.  Shifting to perennial gardening provided me with a way to express some artistry and creativity, just like writing does.  And it has something else in common with blogging that spurs my passion all the more: an audience.  Because we live on a golf course fairway, our backyard is as visible to the public as any front yard.  This is hugely motivating to my inner Capability Brown.

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See me if you need any extra golf balls

Our first summer here I toiled in the dirt almost daily, engaging in mortal combat with invasive and deeply-rooted weeds, while garden-loving neighbors stopped by to see what all the grunting and swearing was about.  Over those three months, they gifted me with both freshly-dug perennials and valuable growing advice, and since then, the flower-gardening bug has been firmly entrenched.  Thus, I spend early spring each year with my face pressed to the windowpane, staring longingly at my back yard, wishing away the patches of ice and snow and fantasizing about which plants will get moved where, which ones to divide, and what new plants to buy.  I make way-too-early trips to the garden center, perennial list in hand, only to endure strange looks from the employees who remind me that it’s barely above freezing and to come back when they actually have some plants for sale.

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Though I’m normally fiscally responsible, my Chronic Intractable Gardening Syndrome meant I couldn’t help spending $90 on this fern-leaf peony last summer.  Imagine my relief when I saw that it survived our harsh winter.  Now imagine my horror when I saw a rabbit had been nibbling on it.

But this year something changed.  Blogging entered the ring and went head to head with gardening for my time and attention.  In early spring, this was a welcome diversion.  No longer was I gazing hungrily out the back window.  Who had time?  There was blogging to be done!  And I couldn’t do anything but gaze anyway, so it didn’t matter.

Now, though, things are different.  The snow has melted and the plants are emerging, struggling to be free of their leafy winter blanket.  And the weeds?  The are taunting me, laughing at my divided loyalties and full-time job that prevent me from spending marathon sessions in the garden, yanking them out with determined exuberance.

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“Go ahead and pull me out, lady.  There are hundreds of baby maple trees just like me studding your garden.  You’ll never be able to get us all!  Bwaah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!”

I want to write, really I do, but I also want to be out there, digging in the dirt and tending to my living canvas.  The struggle is real, people.

It’s a relief to know that the tension won’t last long.  In a few weeks school will end and I’ll have all the time in the world for both hobbies, and more, but until then I have to decide which of my loves gets attention and which suffers neglect.  And don’t even get me started on this guy:

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It’s always “Gardening or blogging? Blogging or gardening?” What am I?  Chopped liver?!

17 thoughts

    1. Thank you! It’s a lot of work but I love it. Just say no to golfing, though. A better way to enjoy the garden is to sit out on the outer patio, in the early morning with a coffee in hand, watching the golfers play. You just always have to be listening for, “Fore!”

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  1. Wow, your backyard is gorgeous! I love your retaining wall, too. All the hard work certainly pays off. Now you can sit under your cute red umbrella and blog while enjoying the aroma of your perennials and having your creativity ignited by all the lush colors! Best of both worlds 😉

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  2. Oh Wordsmith of the Instanet, congratulations on another heart-wrenching missive. (By the way, where does the phrase “heart- wrenching” come from? Is it a reference to some cruel method of torture from the Spanish Inquisition? Is a “heart wrench” available at Ace Hardware and should I fear it’s appearance in my wife’s gardening kit? But I digress…..). This story presents a Hobson’s Choice concerning the cuddly and cute creature known as the rabbit. You and Mr. Architect nurture a rabbit as pet parents. Yet another creature of the same genus stalks your garden, creating Godzilla quality mayhem. Is the rabbit world now divided between haves and have-nots? Do we owe the outdoor rabbit a chance to live a fuller (in all respects) life? Are we, with all best intentions, demonizing the bunny who seeks only to live the free range life? All important questions.

    By the way, do you have any Titelist golf balls?

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    1. We have Lots of Titelist, and even some neon ones – pink and orange, mainly. You can have at them.
      As for wild buns, I wish them no harm until they start in on my perennials. Then all bets are off. I won’t harm them physically, but I erect the least unattractive barrier I can find in order to make them apoplectic with frustration. The goal is that they spread the word that our yard is not worth the effort.

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  3. Your garden is beautiful! I used to love to garden but must admit I kind of abandoned the hobby to have more time for other outdoor activities. It is tough to balance everything, isn’t it? Life would be so much more full if we could live on 4 hours of sleep, haha!

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  4. Amazing! You have way more talents than I do. While I am not much into gardening, I can see how it can be so fulfilling as a creative type. And if you are good at it, as you are, flower gardens can be so pretty.

    Sign me up for a dozen balls, by the way. Side business? 😀👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’ll bet you take pretty good pictures of flowers, though, even if you aren’t great at growing them.
      Ugh, the golf balls! I’ve briefly pondered how I can craft them into something sellable, but I just don’t have the time (or energy, or interest), what with blogging and now podcasting. If ever we meet, I’ll give you TWO dozen! 🙂

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