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  • Writer's pictureDonna Gerard

I'm Done With The Veggie Garden

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

I always felt that gardening is something everyone should do, especially older people who have time on their hands. There are so many shows, magazines, and online articles dedicated to gardening as a practical endeavor, as a home beautification project, as an intellectual pursuit, and as a passion.

Loving fresh vegetables unsullied by truck transportation and unpicked- over by the teaming masses of grocery store customers seemed practically like a qualification for being human. I totally envisioned myself canning tomato sauce, backing zucchini bread, and simmering steamy batches of homemade vegetable soup. I bought into the entire picture.

I also bought four easy-to-assemble raised garden beds, three million bags of soil accompanied by the requisite mulch, fertilizer, and rolls of weed block. I spent eight years planting assorted varieties of tomatoes, cucumbers with their own private trellis, green beans that I only enjoyed once (the rabbits laid claim all other years, and red peppers that tend to rot or get eaten by insects before turning red. I tried very hard in my latter summers as a teacher and put in even more effort in my time as a retiree. Aren’t I in the demographic of the consummate gardener? I should be loving this!

Not an hour ago, I decided to rip out the vestiges of my cucumbers. I will get to the tomatoes next time. The zucchini were killed by who-knows-what by the end of July, and the rabbits finished the beans leaf by leaf before Memorial Day. I’ve decided to give the peppers a chance to ripen or die of natural causes.

I can’t wait to remove the excess produce from my refrigerator. I will confess that I did not make sauce, soup, or baked goods of any kind. Maybe I’m supposed to be into this, but I’m just not. I was designed to be part of the aforementioned teaming masses in the grocery store, buying exactly what I need when I need it, with no concerns about weeds, aphids, or powdery mildew. My tomato sauce comes happily out of a jar filled by someone else, and on the outside chance I have a hankering for zucchini bread, I can buy zucchini. Okay, I’ll probably buy a mix.

The question at hand is this: What do I do with my raised garden beds? I have big plans, or at least potential plans, for next spring’s garden. I am going to plant a few little shrubs or grasses, hopefully the kind that will regrow of their own accord every season. I’m going to buy or make (okay, probably buy) some sort of outdoor sculpture for each bed. The little shrubs will grow around the sculptures, and I’m going to turn the whole thing into a background for a fairy garden. I think I’d like an art project better than a real gardening project. For those of you who kept reading- I’m taking suggestions.

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