The Long View of the Garden








I’ve been missing the gym this summer, the working out. My body feels it too. But while I’ve forgone building muscle and cardio I have really enjoyed my lunch hours in the garden. It’s a workout, in a way. Mostly it is a method of losing water weight via sweat because sometimes I am not even moving much but still find myself dripping by the time my lunch break is over and I need to clean up to head back to work. A lot of times I’ve planned for it, going whole-hog into a good 30-40 minutes of gardening, getting dirty, with the plan on jumping in the shower to rinse off, and eating lunch at my desk when I return to work. Other times I eat lunch at home, do a few light chores, and then putter in the yard after. Pull a weed here or look and see what needs to be done next, garden planning.

All of that neglected workout time has meant good gardening time and the gardens are the better for it. I had a good chunk this summer, about five weeks, where Forest was a good toddler and went to bed decently which in turn gave me about an hour afterward to garden, too. Now the evening light is shrinking as we head towards autumn and Forest is now back into a phase of being difficult to get to sleep at night. My evening gardening was out the window this last week. So, I take what I can get, when I can get it.

I hesitate to look with a gleam in my eye to cooler weather. I’m looking forward to not sweating so much, for Forest to play outside on weekends instead of being cooped up inside like it’s winter because the heat and humidity is unbearable. However, I’m not ready to ungrasp my hold on summer yet. I’ll lose those valuable evening minutes outside—of course I can get studio and reading time then—and there’s still something magical about summer even as an adult.

Noticing the subtle changes of the season has me knowing what’s around the bend, getting that glimpse of what will be blooming soon. It will be time for goldenrods and beautyberries before we know it. Hiking season. Camping season. Gardening will still be there, of course, but the incessent growth will slow and another round of edibles will be sown and the flower garden, sometime around January, will go dormant for a few weeks or months—depends on how mild of a winter we get this year.

Until then I’m trying to embrace the overbearing heat, the lack of rain, and the profusion of weeds. And figure out a way to start working out again.

One Comment

  • Marisa

    Your garden looks amazing! I’m amazed that you use your lunch break to tend to it. I’m such a bad gardener that I don’t even give it an hour an week.

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