I think I am ready to admit to myself that despite my best efforts to the contrary, I am not a gardener and nor will I ever be one. The patch of dirt in my small court yard that in my mind was to be filled with luscious vegetables and flowering natives or at the very least, pots of useful herbs is currently nothing more than mud decorated poorly with aging mulch.
Two years ago I moved into my current abode, with big dreams and a heart set on being a real functioning proper adult – with the kind of outdoor area to prove to my friends and family that I’d truly made it. Flash forward to January 2016 and the only colour in my yard comes from the fading retro garden flamingos that were once used as a novelty Christmas decoration – otherwise its brown ground and asbestos fencing as far as the eye can see – which isn’t far anyways, since it (thankfully) is a tiny yard.
Encouragement came from every corner – mum would swing by on Saturday mornings and off we’d venture to Bunnings to find another pretty low maintenance flower to revitalise the passion for gardening. Upon our return however, she would cast her eye over the barren wasteland into which I intended to integrate the pretty little plant and sigh with disappointment. An avid and successful gardener herself, I’m sure she couldn’t help but feel personally responsible that I’d recently killed not one but two supposedly indestructible mint plants. Mother grew bored of my failed attempts at adult life and moved away, like far far away. I’m almost entirely sure she made this major life change so that she would no longer have to regularly bear witness to the failure of a daughter which she herself had raised.
For the past year I have found myself getting rather cosy in many gardens – beer gardens that is, if only to water (that’s a gardening term, right?) my own sorrow – but not drown it – because that’s how we kill plants(I know that much, because humans also die if drowned, duh). My passion was momentarily relocated late last year when I read an article by the excellent Helen Razer, describing how she had found a love of gardening in recent years. Enthused by her words I stepped out into the yard – and then my phone vibrated and a single word flashed up on the screen; “pub?” – ahhhh Helens getting older, her friends are married and have children and no longer waste hours talking shit with a pint in their hand, that must be how she manages to find time to garden…
This morning I re-assessed the situation and sighed deeply – I began to pull out weeds, dressed in the oh so classy combination of pyjamas and thongs. Before I knew it I’d accidentally walked backwards into the peg basket on the washing line and tipped a substantial amount of water on myself – that’s enough gardening for this year then.
I love the idea of sitting in a beautifully landscaped garden but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that everyone needs a fantasy to keep them going in life, so that shall be mine. Perhaps I will one day marry into money, live in a fancy house and hire a gardener? Or perhaps I will continue to live the way I do for many years to come. If that is the case, my lack of gardening talent is probably the least of my worries…maybe I should upgrade to furniture that isn’t made of milk crates? Or learn to correctly file important documents instead of shoving them in drawers (that are sure to overflow soon at this rate)? I should almost certainly learn to eat the yoghurt in the fridge before it starts growing the dangerous looking red mould that I found this morning – the kind that could probably kill at least thirty three unborn babies with a single spoonful. Now I think of it, I might just top up my morning glass of sparkling (FYI it’s Prosecco – because if you’re gonna grow up to be an alcoholic, you may as well be a fabulous, European fun one- and not too expensive either) and plan a picnic – in someone else’s garden. I never said I didn’t like the outdoors but dirt? That stuff is icky.