Who could be against a beautiful garden? How could seasonal riots of color be a source of trauma and dread? Why would fragrant scents and soft green spongy mosses be the enemy of tranquility? And what of delicious and nutritious food growing 10 feet outside the front door? Who would view that as a motivating risk for self-immolation?
Now hear me out on this. It may help to pretend that you are steeped in Jungian analysis, co-counseling techniques and Maslow’s philosophical construct. Hierarchy of neediness indeed!
I, Daniel Ben Farber, am a garden killer. I have made an adult practice of buying homes which have lovely gardens and then incrementally watching those tributes to my predecessor’s care and attention fall into disrepair. Flowering plants wither. Fruiting plants go barren. Grasses wilt, brown and are sullied with dandelions. Himalayan blackberries are tasty, but painfully plentiful.
Mind you, I do try to maintain some semblance of order. Just not enough and not intelligently. Apparently, it isn’t a high enough priority for me to make the commitment to quality.
So – and this is where the dysfunction spirals to true lunacy – every well-tended garden I see reminds me of my own failings. The more exacting the effort and higher the quality, the more miserable I become.
Every time I walk out my front door, I am confronted with my own failures. The self-loathing escalates based on “facts on the ground.”
With all the paeans to the love of gardens and gardening that I expect to read from my fellow student writers, you should all know this: You’re KILLING ME with your attention to the damn plants.
PS: As I write this on deadline, Ever’s Landscaping Service is doing their bi-annual best to resurrect the beautiful landscape that we inherited. Hard work indeed – me at the computer and they in the rich soils outside!