Helpful Gardening Facts for Those Who Don't Like Going Outside

September 28, 2011

Hi again, ladies, and thank you all for letting me host this meeting of the Enfield Garden Club! Yes, Melinda, your hat looks lovely, it matches the floral print of your dress. Yes, I like it. Really. It’s fine. Before we head out into the yard, would anyone like a cup of tea?
Oh, it’s coated in frying oil. That happens. It boils hot water just fine, the oil’s not on the inside! Ha ha. I don’t think it can do that. I bet the tea tastes just fine. Now, where did I leave it. You ladies like Lipton, right? Oh, and this one says “Asian Style Tea” on it, I have no idea what that means. Probably something good. Did anyone bring any milk? Mine’s about two weeks old, we probably don’t… Oh. All right, why don’t we skip the tea.
Ah, Agnes, you met Molly! Scary little thing, isn’t she? We have four of them. Four. Four cats. What? Don’t you like cats? I thought you were Garden Obsessive Ladies, you should all have a minimum of three cats sitting on cozy furniture at home. Well, yes, there’s cat hair. There’s lots of cat hair! Like, look over there. See that? Cat hair. It’s been there for months. A word of warning, don’t let Jenny, she’s the fat calico, anywhere near Amber. She’s the little calico. They hate one another!
Watch the step, here, the snow packed on the deck last year made it kind of lean a little. It’s lower than it used to be, so the step kind of slants down. I pile the leaves there to keep the cats from getting under the deck. Oh, watch that board there, it’s not exactly stable. And steer clear of the grill, I think there may be some bees in there again. Anyway, here’s the garden. It’s not in great shape. I keep meaning to get the water back here fixed so I can water the plants, but I never do. I guess I’m too lazy?
No, I don’t have a husband to do that. Well, yeah, I’m married– no, to another woman. Yes. Another woman. Yes, it’s legal in this state! I’m gay, I guess? I don’t know, it’s really complicated. No, you don’t want to know. Trust me. Trust me, Betty, there’s a reason I’m not wearing tight jeans and am taller than all of you by a foot. I’ll—I’ll tell you later, Pearl, I promise. Sure.
This is the forsythia, it’s just a little clump of bush that I bought years ago. It’s getting big, and I’m always really happy when it flowers in the spring. Over here is… well… I don’t know what it’s called. It makes yellow flowers, though, and it makes them now. You can see the… no, those are weeds. I think they’re weeds, anyway. I put some mulch down, once, but that was a long time ago.
These raspberry bushes haven’t made raspberries ever. And I do mean, ever! But they get all over the place. This is a line of paving stones I put down when we first bought the place. Well, they’re under there somewhere! Here, let me kind of sweep this away– damn, I knew I shouldn’t have worn white shoes. Than God they were only fifteen bucks! Ha! What? You wear seventy-five dollar shoes to a–? Really? All of you? Wow. I mean, damn. Are you all bankers or something? Oh, your husband is, Agnes, I guess I should have known that. That would explain your car! Well, it would.
I used to plant marigolds here, but I didn’t this year. I’d just sit here and pick off the dead flowers and throw them down on the ground. Then they’d take root and be new flowers. I loved that. I wish I could do that again, but I just don’t have the time… and then there’s the water problem. But my mother and I used to do that, when I was a little b– kid. We’d sit outside and work in her garden, and I’d help her with the marigolds. They always smelled so nice. They’re my favorite flowers. Over there is where I used to plant dahlias, she gave me them from her garden. But one year the bag of bulbs went bad, and now I don’t have them anymore.
This is the pear tree. Thank you! I put the statue there when Lucky, our first cat, died. Then we mixed her ashes with the tree when we planted it. Our cat who died last year is buried here, too. Max. He was such a good boy, he was my little pal. I miss him a lot. He was part Siamese and he loved– oh, sorry. I get a little carried away. Stop me if I run off at the mouth, I guess!
This is a bush, I don’t know what kind. These are grapes. Concord grapes, I think? This tangle of vines on the ground is grapes, too. I put the chair there to hold them up, I’ve heard you’re supposed to do that with grapes. I’ve been watching shows about wine but I don’t think these are wine grapes. I think the soil here is wrong for wine anyway. But here are some ripe ones on the ground! They’re really good. I forgot this year that there would even be grapes, but when I found these a few days ago they tasted amazing. Anyone want one? No? Okay.
Those are the daisies from my grandmother’s garden. I neglect the hell out of them! Ha ha. Sorry, I neglect the hey out of them. But no matter how much I forget about them, they always come back. Year after year. She doesn’t have these in her own yard anymore, they only grow here. As for that? I don’t know what that is. I thought I had some mums. Maybe they all died.
And last, here’s a pine tree. When I graduated from college in 2000 we were all given a sapling, a little baby pine tree. My mother put mine in a pot and left it outside, and we both forgot about it. Then when my wife and I moved here, I thoughtlessly planted it in the back corner, thinking it would struggle on for a while and then croak. But after a few years I found it living back there among the dead wood and old leaves, and so I dug it up and replanted it here.
It’s taller than I am, now. It’s thriving. It will live for many, many years. It’s really the only thing I wanted to show you back here. This is my tree.
Any questions?

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