Dave has plants now!
In the preface to his wonderful book, An Ear to the Ground: Garden Science for Ordinary Mortals, Ken Thompson describes a garden as “a large, unplanned and slightly out-of-control scientific experiment”.
Part of the way through last week I had the sudden dreadful feeling that I’d bitten off more than I could chew; if I had any vegetables of any magnitude to chew that is.
The problem was that I’d started out with three packets of seeds and a balcony and there was no pressure. I didn’t even mind blogging about it; some junk finds here, a few seedlings there.
It was fun.
Then my first failure happened when the initial thyme I’d planted decided to stay where it was. That was okay. I was even okay when the raging wind attempted to murder my potato plant. I was outside my back door with a cup of tea and it was manageable.
It was also invisible.
Three blogs later and I have a balcony called Sam and a plot called Dave. I also have a whole bunch of people who not only read about what I’m doing, but sometimes actually watch me doing it. Added to that, I have my college interview next week so that I can formally study this ball of wax called Horticulture.
That was the point when my brain melted last week and I had a Garden of Gethsemane moment.
I am so far out of my comfort zone right now and terrified of failure; and public failure at that, writ large. What happens if I never grow a single vegetable? What happens if I really suck at this?
I’ve always suffered from White Knight Mentality; the urge to save the world with whatever I’m doing. I start something, and then I end up charging in on a mission. That’s when the fear sets in and I panic.
So, I went out on the balcony this morning with my cup of tea in hand and I looked at Sam. After several deep breaths, I realised that my large, unplanned and slightly out-of-control experiment would be okay no matter what I did.
You don’t control Life and you certainly don’t control nature; you pretty much just do the best you can and help things along a little. The White Knight in my head had Dave all dug and sieved and planted at the end of May. Here we are in June, and we’ve dug and planted half of Dave, but that’s okay.
Dave has some plants growing in him; and Sam has some plants too. Even one healthy plant is one more vegetable than I had when I started this little wingding in February. We’ll dig the rest of Dave over in August; and if we don’t manage it, that’s okay too. Right now, I’ll tend the plants I have and round up some junk to make the place look pretty. Whatever happens will happen; I’m just here to help it along a little and not go charging in on my white horse every five seconds.
Oh, and I may have lied about the absence of vegetables part. The salad and nasturtium petals taste just fine. :)