Denise Day Spencer

August 6, 2006

The lazy gardener

Filed under: Home Front — denisedayspencer @ 2:29 am

I love to have pretty things growing in my yard, but I’m not much of a gardener. It takes time, and that’s something I never seem to have enough of.

My neighbor spends hours each week working in his yard. He started with absolutely nothing, and has transformed the spot into a backdrop for “The Secret Garden.” The only trouble is, I never see him actually enjoying the yard. He’s always too busy working.

Once a week (at the most) I pull a few weeds here and trim back something there. Not with any real sense of purpose, mind you. But something catches my eye and I make a few moments to take care of the situation.

The other evening it was the tomatoes. Back in the spring, Michael proudly returned from a trip to town carrying three tomato plants. Two were for full-sized tomatoes; the other was a cherry tomato plant. I was appropriately excited. I love home-grown tomatoes. So it was with anticipation that we watched our plants grow. The cherry tomato plant, in particular, was doing well, and I had already harvested one nice little crop.

But the tiny tomato patch was completely overgrown with weeds. “I can fix this in no time,” thought I. And I dropped to my knees and began to pull grass and weeds by the handful. Soon I sat back, dusted off my hands, and admired the pile of no-good growth I had culled out.

Then I looked at my tomatoes. Oh, dear. Something was wrong with the cherry tomato plant. It was just a spindly stalk–not unlike Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree–with two tiny yellow fruits at the top. Horrified, I reached over and inspected the weeds. Sure enough, there were the tomato branches, each laden with teensy green tomatoes that now would never grow to garnish my plate. Talk about feeling stupid. This would never happen to my neighbor. I realized that being a lazy gardener had made me a hasty gardener, and, well, “haste makes waste,” as they say.

I’ve still got miniature roses, four-o-clocks, hosta and three shrubs. But I can’t eat any of that.

Didn’t Jesus even tell a parable about this? I gotta read my Bible more.

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