Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Gardening 2011
Jennifer Flaten

The temperature hit 80 degrees today. It was as they say “unseasonably” warm. I would go so far as to say it was downright unnatural. Trust me 80 degrees in April in Wisconsin is unnatural.

Usually, we have snow up to our armpits until May. We don’t even get close to 80 degrees until August. Who am I to complain about gorgeous weather in April?

Even if Mother Nature is just messing with us, which I am positive she is, I bet that tomorrow we will face a blizzard of epic proportions; it was still a very nice day.

The lovely weather compelled me to go outside, today. Of course, since I am a whiter shade of winter pale, I made sure to slather myself with sunscreen lest the blazing ball of UV burn me to a crisp. Don’t laugh, us pale people can sunburn even in spring.

It was something more than the nice weather that drove me outside, it was guilt. Yes, guilt drove me outside; see every other yard in our neighborhood boasts a clean swath of brown lawn just waiting for the right mix of sun and rain to turn it into a carpet of green.

My “lawn” is waiting for someone to put it out of its misery. Frankly, I don’t have a lawn. I have a barren wasteland.

With our combination of factors, those being dog, kids and neglect, the lawn never stood a chance. I forgot to fertilize the lawn, it. The kids rode their bicycles across the lawn. The dog did what dogs do. The lawn never had a chance.

In fact, the last lawn service man that stopped by to give us a quote burst into tears after taking one look at our lawn. I asked if there was anything I could do, the lawn expert shook his head and suggested I make peace with my lawn. After saying last rites for the lawn, I moved on to other gardening tasks.

While other people did fun things in the sun, I rounded up the last of the fall leaves. Yes, I still have fall leaves in my yard.

I swear I chased down every one in November, but I found batches of them hiding out in the garden beds. It seems they spent the winter cuddle under the snow producing new litters of leaves.

Why does the wind always pick up to hurricane force when I step outside to clean up the leaves? After what seemed like hours, I finally managed to get all the leaves, until a huge gust of wind blows some back into my yard, cleaned up.

After spending the day with rake in hand, I’ve realized something. I always thought I thought I loved gardening. It’s thinking about what you thought you thought that gets you.

It turns out I just love flowers, beautiful flowers, tended by someone other than me. Ah, how I wish I were some multi-millionaire. I wish I had a ginormous staff of happy little garden gnomes to do my biding.

Alas, as I am about a million dollars short, of being a millionaire, I am in charge of my own garden work. This is rather sad, as I am a rather lackadaisical employee. I take frequent snack breaks. I’d rather sit on the garden bench, reading, instead of weeding. I guess this means I will always have a so-so garden.

On the plus side, at least the neighbors can look at my yard and think, “thank goodness our lawn doesn’t look like that!”

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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