In the spring a young man’s fancy turns lightly to thoughts of love.
In the spring an old man’s fancy turns lightly to thoughts of … gardening.
Every spring I do battle with my garden and every spring the garden wins. The garden holds beautiful, splendid and rare examples of hydrangeas, azaleas, rhododendron, forsythia, roses, magnolias, honeysuckle and fothergill. Amazingly, just like pets and children, they do not take care of themselves.
There are weeds in the garden that are so strong and so resistant that no weed killer can kill them and no pair of gloves able to prevent them from giving you significant injury. I have given serious consideration to napalm but I would only injure neighbors and pets, face jail time and the weeds would just laugh. I have a rule: If it’s green and growing without effort, then it’s a weed. Those of you who live in apartments, condominiums or have zero lot sizes are far smarter than I am. I recently saw a house that had nothing between the front door and the sidewalk except asphalt. Smart person. The only need is an occasional leaf blowing.
In dedication to my futile annual efforts, I have composed a poem in boring, lame (and bad) iambic pentameter:
Ode to Spring
I plant a flower with delicate care
And place it into the ground
With hope I see it pop up green
Then quickly turn to brown.
My azalea plants, their delicate buds
I carefully prune and prune,
No limit is my despair
As I watch them go to ruin and ruin.
The gnats, mosquitoes, hornets and moths
Assault my hands, my neck, my face
The flying insects of the earth
Have chosen me as their final resting place.
The vicious weeds, the devil’s plants,
With hostile intent I attack,
No fume nor spray nor killing mist
Keeps them from coming back.
Each day I search from dawn to dusk
And all hours in between,
For just one hope that I might sight
That sparkling patch of green.
And then one day, my hopes fulfilled
I see verdant leafing seeds,
And realize, with all hopes dashed
I’ve grown a garden of … weeds!
Each month I count the lengthening hours
And warming of the day,
O wonderful, joyous spring
Can winter be far away?