ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Seven Terraces of Garden Purgatory

Updated on February 22, 2020
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren gardens in PA, specializing in earth-friendly, unconventional, creative, joyful artistry. She works for eco and climate health.

Close to Heaven

A peaceful scene with perennials and a garden sculpture.
A peaceful scene with perennials and a garden sculpture. | Source

Dante, Improved

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.

Gardening Purgatory

(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 . . .




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.

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


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)