I’ve written before on my feelings about Easter, and how growing up Catholic kinda ruined it for me. When I posted about it 2016, I thought I was turning a corner and freeing myself of the image of Jesus getting the crap beaten out of him, and then having to be happy a few days later because he is all better in heaven. Can’t quite turn on a dime like that. So it’s 7 years later, and turns out it was more like corner in a fun house, or maybe the pandemic scrambled the bits of brains I have left. In any event, this year I decided the best way to handle Easter was to ignore it altogether and just play around in the dirt. Plants are my personal Jesus.
So on Easter I planted pansies and Swiss chard, raked the leaves I neglected to rake in the fall, and hacked, er I mean, carefully trimmed, a cedar tree that is unfortunately planted close to the garbage stockade and getting in the way. I sweated and plotted. Gardening allows you to be a dictator, and you get to choose whether you want to be benevolent or not. I lovingly applied worm castings (don’t ask what it is, ok it’s worm poop. Are you happy now?) to some of the established plants in the garden like the bleeding heart and the hydrangeas. Then I turned a watchful eye to the tiny hosta spears starting to poke through the dirt, and rubbed my hands in glee like a villain; I was relishing how I am going to rip them out and plant wildflowers instead. Wahh ah ah! I’m not a fan of hostas, and yes, they have their place, but they also have to be watched over or they turn into monstah plants. And once you have hacked away at a hosta with a root system 3 feet across, trying to break it into normal sized bunches, and it looks like something out of Little Shop of Horrors, well, you are never quite the same. And I vowed to never have to do that again.
But what about the gahlic, you’re asking. Sorry I nearly forgot. So in all this gahdening, I have a box that I planted garlic in last fall. My brother gave me cloves from his garden. For a budding New England gahden junkie like me, it’s wicked cool to plant something in fall that you can eat the next spring. Like I’m gardening in the winter without actually doing anything. The garlic sprouted last fall, but the internet and my brother said that was fine.
Then the green bits died and the gahlic was snuggled under mulch all winter. A month ago I checked on it and I could see a few little green shoots coming up. Woo hoo! Isn’t nature amazing? Yes it was, until a little bastahd bunny showed up and starting nibbling at it. And on my neighbor’s crocuses too. There are hundreds of crocuses flowering and garlic sprouting in my neighborhood, and you, Rabbit, need to eat ours? Seriously? Did you cut a deal with the marauding rodents? Taking first shift? I hauled out the electronic gizmos that had worked on the rodents, but not before the damn bunny had mowed down the gahlic.
So I’m learning the downside of being able to garden all year long is that you have to battle the damn critters all year long. And now I’m like a clingy girlfriend, going out everyday to anxiously see how it’s doing. Are you sprouting now? How about now? How about if I remove the mulch? I got one drooping sprout and a nibbled one. And today I found the whole skin of a garlic clove. Is that supposed to happen? I can’t bear to Google it in case it turns out to mean the gahlic has been sent to swim with the fishes [hand makes a slicing motion across the throat].
But what do I see when I walk around the neighborhood? There’s garlic sprouting in the front yard of a house 3 doors down. Hey Rabbit bahstid, why don’t you nibble on that? And there’s a community garden plot that is mocking me with a 4 x 4 foot patch of gahlic sprouts. Tall, green sprouts 5 inches tall. Motherfuckers. OK, fine they have a fence, but it can’t be that hard to break into if you were really smart bunny.
So yeah, I have gahlic envy, but I am smooth talking my gahlic, telling it how amazing it is. I don’t care about those other gahlic plants, I only have eyes for you. Maybe it will work, and maybe I am talking to empty gahlic bulbs. That’s love, and gahdening for yas.
Photo credit: https://stonepierpress.org/gardeningnews/growing-garlic