The Seven Terraces of Garden Purgatory
Close to Heaven
Dante penned his Divine Comedy which describes all sorts of next life trials, and the biggie: the after-death assignment for a Christian based on their behavior on earth.
The middle landing spot between Heaven and Hell is Purgatory. Purgatory has seven levels which go from "meh" to "almost not bad, but still bad." According to Dante, souls had to work through the levels - like remedial make-up work for not doing one's best while alive.
In non-sacred use, Purgatory has come to mean irritating burdensome conditions. It conjures up feelings of punishment, but not the worst punishment, or torture but not the worst possible torture.
Lots of professions have fun defining the Purgatory "bads" of their discipline.
I will explain gardening Purgatory to the blissfully ignorant.
Even better yet, I will be briefer than Dante.
(From the lightest level and heading towards the level of almost unbearable.)
1. Terrace One
Having neighbors copy everything I do in the garden. I feel annoyed. Some say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but there is something about perfect copy-catting that makes me feel like I'm being stalked.
2. Terrace Two - A Little Worse
Seeing one-inch remnants of beautiful green plant stalks standing pathetically above the soil. They are located in the exact spot where plants had been six inches tall and gorgeous. That was yesterday. Today is aargh-frustrating!
Did I mention the tell-tale rabbit denture marks? I don’t like it, but vandalism by roaming wildlife is to be expected. If only these critters would learn to share and share alike instead of chomping it all down!
3. Terrace Three
Learning that the local garden or home improvement store has mulch on “super sale” two weeks after I bought truckloads at full price.
Needless to say, I have resent not having scored a bargain when I could be much more holy and focusing on gratitude for mulch. I guess that's why I am in Garden Purgatory. I need to up my "holy."
4. Terrace Four
Discovering that the areas in which I spread my homemade compost are now sprouting all the weeds and vegetables that went into the compost in the first place. Do I need this? Weren't they supposed to turn into super soil? I feel like someone sold me a bill of goods with this composting business.
5. Terrace Five
Getting bug-bit, a lot, poison-ivy-rashed also a lot, and scared-to-death with a tick encounter. This is really scary if one lives in Lyme Disease or West Nile Virus territory. (Do gardeners in other parts of the country want to add snakes, scorpions, and alligators?)
Why didn't these bugs, plants, and other wonderful outdoor critters telepathically read my mind, "No thank you, I am not giving body fluid donations today."
6. Terrace Six - Getting Really Bad
Returning from a short vacation to find that the paid plant waterer missed a beloved section of my garden. Consistently missed it. I feel sad, but hopeless. It's too late. A done deal. Crying over dried out plants won't bring them back to life.
Did you observe that my death is less bad (Terrace Five) than plant death? That's a gardener thing.
Drum Roll. The Worst Terrace Is . . .
7. Terrace Seven
Waking up to a partially cloudy, slightly comfy-breezy, perfect temperature and perfect humidity day . . .
with light rain predicted for the next day (which would nicely quench the thirst of the three flats of gorgeous tender seedlings I am eager to plant) . . .
and knowing . . .
I HAVE TO GO TO WORK!!!!!!!!!
It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. And, may no one develop a 12-Step Plan to cure it! I adore my addiction.
- Front Yard Vegetable Flower Combo Garden
Creative planning and planting of flowers with veggies, or veggies with flowers.
As long as Maren Morgan functions in her daily life, please allow her to continue playing in the mud. Excuse me, soil.
© 2011 Maren Elizabeth Morgan