Summer is finally here in central Maine. Traditionally, Maine gardeners in my neck of the woods plant their gardens over Memorial Day weekend. For many, it’s a tradition. It’s like putting on the storm windows after the Skowhegan Fair (mid-August.) It’s like putting your snow tires on November 1st. Or taking them off on May 1st because that’s the law. Damn it, there might be another late spring storm! I’ve seen it snow in May. Yeah, it was may years ago and it only dusted the ground, but it happened! Sorry, I got sidetracked there a little bit, but suffice it to say; I was late getting the plants in.
Yup, planting over Memorial Day weekend is a tradition for sure. There would have been some serious tsking going on if my father had been a tsker. He wasn’t, but all I could imagine was the look of disappointment on his face. He would have planted his veggie seeds indoors in March so they would be ready for the proper weekend. I hadn’t even bought pregrown plants! I was really late.
Now in my defense, it was a very cold and rainy spring. People who planted their gardens in mid-late May grumbled about their plants’ suffering. I didn’t grumble because I didn’t have any plants to suffer. I was smart! I didn’t have to cover any of them up because there could be a late frost. Nope, no late frost, it was me who was late!
As the season progressed and Memorial Day passed, it got warmer and I started to get the itch. All gardeners get it. I was itching to get my hands in the soil. I must plant something! Then I didn’t. I was beyond late.
I don’t know exactly why I didn’t plant. In spite of the itch, I had a big case of apathy going on. And you know what that meant? I know, I don’t even have to say it.
Then I finally did it! I went to the greenhouse and bought a few plants. Yup, I was awesome. I bought those plants with gusto. There was no stopping me in the buying-plants department. I was all over it. I know the greenhouse people looked at me and wondered why I was there so late in the season picking over what was left. I saw their stupid judgy faces. They know me there, and they know I’m better than this. I didn’t care, I went on my plant-buying spree and no one was going to stop me!
That was a week ago. The plants were wilting in the sunroom so I watered them. They looked pitiful sitting there in their dinky little six-packs. But I left them there. The apathy continued. Till something awesome happened.
We have a gal named Wendy who comes to clean, landscape, dog-sit, you name it. Wendy came today. Now Wendy isn’t like an ordinary employee who has always has set tasks. When she comes, she never knows exactly what she’ll be doing, and neither do I. It’s kind of a free-for-all. She sees something that needs doing and she does it. I might have a suggestion or two, but Wendy’s got it handled.
When I got up I realized that Wendy was weeding the garden beds. It was like she’d read my apathetic mind. I shouldn’t have been surprised because this mind-reading thing is something she’s good at, at least when it comes to me. This ability should scare her because reading my mind can be like a rollercoaster on acid, but we’re both very lucky because she’s unflappable. No acid-tripping carnival ride was going to flap her, no siree!
There she was, bent over some unsuspecting dandelions. Those weeds didn’t have a chance. She got every weed, every root, every tiny bit of offensive green. I think she sifted the soil for errant seeds. Those beds were pristine! I almost cried.
The only things she left were the onions and cilantro that reseeded from last year. Hey, look at my cilantro and onions! They look awesome! As I was making that fantastic proclamation, Wendy rolled her eyes.
Fine. FINE! I went and got my sad little plants. I planted them except for those I suddenly decided needed to be planted in the bed she was still weeding. SHE was holding me up! Damn Wendy!
Apparently, I missed the grass-clipping altercation. Just as Wendy was finishing the beds Bill came by with the lawn mower and blew grass clippings onto the beds and my new plants. I think there were words. I think Wendy won. I was assured it will never happen again.
I still have to get those last plants that Wendy prevented me from planting in the ground, but I still felt really proud of myself. So what if it took Wendy’s eye roll to set me in motion? I have dirt under my fingernails and my cilantro and onions look awesome!