My garden is getting mean and I like it.

Ahh, Summer. The time of year when it’s foggy in Half Moon Bay, kids are out of school and the town fills up with tourists heading to the beach.

“West”, I say.

“The beach is west. West is over there!”.

I, too, just came back from a little summer-time vaca. I spent almost 2 weeks in New England – with a detour to Maine for some antiquing. (There’s nothing like riffling through old people’s awesome shit and buying it for like, a dollar.)  I found some really great pieces – oxidized hardware for doors and drawers, ornate gate hinges and knobs, carved and gilded wood frames. I found some potentially lovely garden architectural pieces, but couldn’t justify the shipping expense to get them west-bound.

With my smaller treasures in tow, I came home and found my garden much different than when I had left it only 2 weeks before. My Benjamin Britten roses were totally spent, leaves yellowing from (I’m guessing) the house-sitter’s overhead watering. The sweet peas were completely done blooming, the bright green pods swelled up forming blackening seeds on the inside. And weeds! I have weeds in my garden! (I made a mental note to savor the weed pulling, not unlike the delayed gratification feeling you get when popping a zit, perfectly.)

The deferred maintenance was not bad, but noticeable to me (and any other gardener with eyes). But the good part of a wild and messy garden, is the complete lack of – giving a fuck – the garden shows you. The nasturtium quickly sprawls into doorways, covering stairs and railings. The honeysuckle follows suit, wrapping around fence pickets and making the front gate just a little harder to unlatch. Even my not-so-sweet sweet-peas make a run for it, spilling over the container and completely covering my 2 teak lounge chairs. Anyone who has been to my garden knows, the plants take precedence – so no, you can’t move them to sit down.

I like seeing the garden get a little mean. Stems sprawl and lean and take over. One plant crowds out the next and some die off completely. The new growth of the rose bush doesn’t care that it hasn’t been dead-headed in weeks. It’s like, “Fuck it, I’m growing anyway.”


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