On garden anxiety


Fava (broad) bean blossoms:  the good thing with gardening is once things are in the ground they mostly take care of themselves

So here it is, 6:00 a.m. on a holiday morning, and I am awake and caffeinated.  Why in the world am I up and around, considering I normally need a crowbar to get me out of bed an hour later on a workday?  Well, garden anxiety of course!

I would say that we have tried to structure our lives out here in the country to be relatively stress-free.  Our city lives weren’t terribly fraught, but they were busy.  Things are certainly busy here, but it’s different in that we are (mostly) in control of our time.  And now, during the spring-busy season, my projects are beginning to outnumber my regularly scheduled tasks.  While this is a normal, even expected occurrence, I woke up in a panic!  Ah!  I gotta get up and PLANT THE CORN!

Granted, gardening for me (and for most of us who do it) is an immensely enjoyable task with a tasty payoff.  I hope it never becomes a drudgery, a point of worry, a burden.  I doubt it will:  my ambitions are manageable ones, or, well, mostly manageable ones!  I suppose I just need to have a few more 5 a.m. awakenings, and days spent getting dirty, before things are back on track.  Then comes Preservation Season, of course…

Having a garden:  what an odd way to have job security!

10 responses to “On garden anxiety

  1. Favas! One of my personal favorites in the garden, perhaps even more for form than for function. The foliage has a strangely prehistoric look–very architectural. And the blossoms look like a swarm of white butterflies–with big black dots on their wings–has descended on the garden. Nic pic.

  2. asonomagarden

    I guess you have anxiety no matter how simple you make your life, but at least having to plant corn is for the most part a pleasureable task!

  3. I’m the same way! Because Mother Nature waits for no one!

  4. Great post, and spot on! I spent each day this weekend getting my “must get done today” list done. Then I would sit down with a glass of wine, only to think I could go ahead and do that one more thing that really needs to be done. I think I got more done carrying that glass of wine around the garden then I did with the original list!

  5. I’m not sure it’s anxiety — it’s a real kind of concern. You’ve got to get things done in time, and yet you’re not in control at all of things like insects, the weather, etc. But it is so much more satisfying than stressing about traffic, or what your boss thinks of you, or whether the client will like the presentation.

    It’s real work, with a real payoff, and yet I think that we’ve forgotten just how busy an agricultural life truly is. Good busy, with fallow seasons, but busy.

    I’m hoping that years of practice and recordkeeping will cut down on the “now what do I need to do?” worries.

    Here’s to your new corn!!

  6. We have just spent an axious time worrying about our beans and if they were going to come up.


  7. Favas are one of the spring goodies that are hardest to find locally here for some reason. I don’t have the space to grow them (I don’t think), sadly – I hope my new CSA has them!

  8. Gardening is the opposite of drudgery for me. Too bad my spouse considers them to be synonymous. Hope your day off was relaxing and stress-free.

  9. Ha! I laughed out loud. I was up in a panic this morning also worrying about the garden. Had the deer gotten in last night? What did the roly polies (I kid you not) devour? Was it too late to plant more pumpkins? I feel you . . . on everything including preservation season.

  10. Ed, I do love their looks too. Considering the iffy harvests I get from them some years and the fact that what gets eaten is such a terribly small percentage of what grows you’d think I would relegate them to lower status in the garden, but no. I love them! Last year was a rebuilding year of the seed stock so this year should be a good harvest.

    asonomagarden, yeah: planting corn IS pleasurable considering I am not planting acres of the stuff! Just popcorn and a blue sweet corn. Otherwise I would probably feel even MORE anxious, you know?

    Accidental Huswife: I know! Don’t you always feel you’re working against the clock despite your best-laid plans? I sure do.

    Dava, walking around with a glass of wine is the way I get my best garden planning done! And supposedly having one in your hand prohibits one from doing much but you’ve demonstrated the opposite is true 😉

    Stefaneer, I completely stress out about record-keeping! Ah one day I will be completely on top of it all but that day is far in the future. But yeah, being in the garden is a lot more consistently rewarding than working, I will give you that, and certainly beats commuting anywhere. But I do know what you mean: practice makes perfect. At this point in my gardening career I have very few moments of “now what do I do?” So keep at it!

    Linda, I take it the beans are all up and look good, so good luck!

    MC, they take up less room than normal bush beans if that helps but their harvest is smaller, if that helps. I hope you do find some; they’re quite lovely…

    WS, my spouse does too. Actually I keep him out of the garden unless I need some heavy lifting or need someone to hold on to the dumb end of a project. It’s safer that way all around. I had visions though that he would love it: adore it, work side by side with me…you know, I fear I am too much of a vegetable tyrant so I am kind of happy things worked out the way they did.

    Green Bean, hi! Yeah. I know. Agita all around. My answer to the roly-polies is plant twice as many and squish all that I see (though darn they are quite fertile considering how many new ones I find). But deer! I would start having visions of venison stew if they got to be too big of a problem 🙂 But we used the last of the strawberry jam yesterday (!!) so preservation season can’t come too soon! (Wait: did I just say that? Shoot me now.)

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