garden on the loose

by bam

i believe, any minute now, my so-called garden will be passing around a petition, picking a representative, and knocking on my door. they will, the citizens of my misbehaving, ill-disciplined garden, be demanding all sorts of reforms.
for one, they will be insisting on breathing room. and they might ask for a class in manners, too. no more tall guys keeling over, knocking into little guys, stealing all the room.
it’s a mess out there. always is, come august. which we have now, eek, come to.
excuse me, did anyone see july zipping through the streets, throwing clothes in suitcase, panting as it packed, hellbent on a quick exit out of town?
but back to the so-called garden. if you were poetic–and polite–you would call it riotous. rambunctious, maybe. free-wheeling, at best.
if you were honest, though, you would call it out-of-control. on the loose. on the verge of detention. in need of, like the bad boys of long ago, a reformitory.
or maybe, gulp, it is the gardener who should be sent away, sent to where the lazy learn a thing or two, the slouchers to sit up straight, the laissez faire to let up on the laisse.
it happens year after year at this point in the summer. the early-on rediscovery of who is poking up where, and who’s made it through the winter, is but a brain cell now covered up with cobwebs. the standing tall, pushing toward the sun, that’s history too.
the poppies, spent and bowed now. the delphinium, once again an experiment in failure. dang, what is it with my soil? i think perhaps it’s allergic to cobalt blue. of course my favorite hue.
as i type, the black-eyed susans are shoving through the yarrow, the meadow rue has gone kerplunk, or is thirsty, maybe, sucking up the dingy bird bath, where it has laid its lovely head. and that’s only the half of it. on the south end, someone, please, dial 9-1-1. there is trouble going on, all sorts of pushing and jostling among the cat mint and the climbing roses.
oh, lord, we need a school marm.
and i, unkempt in my flower beds, am not the marmy sort. my hair’s unruly. my shorts are shedding threads. i am, given the standards of the ’hood, where no one leaves the house with naked toenails, a mess. and so’s my garden.
as always, like all who need a 12-step course to recovery, i vow reform. i’ll mend my ways. get better. next year i’ll tend my garden, start to finish. i’ll not let things get quite so out of hand.
for all i know whole colonies of critters make their homes in the tangled, shadowed thicket that is my garden. i know i once walked out one early morning, and thought perhaps a cow had come and spent the night, crushed flat in its slumber all that had been standing.
or perhaps the ’possums are having hoedowns where my flowers try to be.
it is thick and dense out there. stems collapse every which way. if i put my ear to the ground, i am sure i could hear little shouts of “timber!”
like so much of life, perhaps, it merely needs attention. it wants for little. drink and light, a bit of love.
it is begging me, i think, to stroke its brow. to sit and tend it. adore it like a kitten doing tricks.
i’ve been, i admit, a tad distracted these past few years. there is the little child. and the day job. and the construction that hammers on. it is hard to garden when a slew of nails is littering the lawn.
but any day now, cross your fingers, the builders will be done. will pack up their tools, and roll away. leave me and my garden to mend our ways.
i will play at being the school marm, and the stems will sit up tall. in lined-up, straight-edged rows.
nah, on second thought, that sounds rather stuffy. not at all the way i want my garden to be. i want a garden that feels free to dance, and twirl, to raise its arms, salute the sun.
maybe all i need is a little oomph. to not give up the ghost before the glory’s done.

anyone out there with a garden, like mine, that is, um, on the unruly side? do you cower when the neighbors come, for fear they’ll gawk at how you so-called garden? are you embarrassed by your unmade beds? are the sheets askew, the covers dumped? do you, like me, need a cleaning crew to attack the mess? ‘fess up, folks, a messy lonely gardener is not the way to begin the month….