The weather forecasts have been good and the garden beds are all prepared, so in the evenings after work this week, I’ve been planting out vegetable seedlings.
On Tuesday, as I left the garden at dusk, I turned to close the gate behind me. I smiled as my gaze swept the scene. My work had transformed the garden from a weedy patch sporting a few vegetables to a vegetable garden with a few weeds. The transformation had taken months, but my shift in perception was like a switch being thrown.
The coming long weekend will complete the transformation, with all the remaining seedlings filling in the gaps. But the switch in my perception means the weekend planting will be an enjoyable challenge. It won’t feel like an insurmountable hurdle.
This is where my obsessive-compulsive garden planning pays off. All the tasks I’ve crossed off my list since mid-August come together this weekend in a tidy, fully-planted garden with the potential to feed us for the year.
People ask if I have plans for the long holiday weekend.
“Just gardening,” I answer.
They think it’s work. And no doubt I’ll spend long hours on my knees. I’ll sweat. My back will ache. My feet will protest the hours encased in gumboots.
But the work I will do this weekend is more a celebration than a chore. At its end is a sense of accomplishment and well-being nothing else can provide.
And as every gardener knows, at its end is the beginning of a new set of tasks—the weeding, watering, and other ongoing care that fills the summer calendar.
So this weekend I will plant and celebrate, and next weekend I will weed.