Other People’s Gardens


Why doth my garden languish in such woe?

Where is its spirit of cheer, its joie de vivre in the sun, its very soul? What can I do?

I seek out answers from the gardens of other people that I pass day by day on my travels hitherforth betwixt my farm and the big, wide world. I could actually ask questions of the gardeners themselves, but then they might think I was weird.

And of course I am NOT weird, so that would give the wrong impression.

I will ascertain the answers by myself, with naught but my psychic intuition. I am one with the soil.

This garden is lovely. Its rows are neat, orderly. It basks beneath the blue sky in a sense of peace with itself and its gardener.

I narrow my eyes, focusing intently on the garden, letting it speak to me.

I can’t hear anything, so I speak for it: “My owner is a master gardener.”

OH. Well, never mind. You can’t compare apples and oranges.

I find another one. This one grabs my heart with both fists–it’s huge! Look at that!

There’s even a place for grapevines right next to it! What a garden!

I wait for the garden to speak, but it is silent. I speak for it: “My owner has hired help.”

Of course!! CHEATER!!!

I move on. This garden is my favorite. I’ve been watching this garden for years. In another month or two, it will look like it belongs on a magazine cover. This is always, hands down, the most beautiful garden in the county. I focus again, begging for its secrets.

And yes! This garden yields to my power and speaks to me! The garden says: “My owner–”

No, wait. WAIT. I see the owner!


Oh, no.


The garden continues, speaking to me over my panic. The garden can’t be stopped from giving me my answer: “My owner WORKS IN THE GARDEN.”


Comments Leave a Comment
Share: |    Subscribe to my feed Subscribe
Posted by Suzanne McMinn on June 10, 2010  

More posts you might enjoy:

Sign up for the Chickens in the Road Newsletter


16 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 6-10

    LOL!!! This is exactly why I don’t have a garden either! My Mom always had a garden like that last one and now my sister does too. I just hrumph and head to the produce market. :ladybug:

  2. 6-10

    Lol! Sometimes you are too funny, Suzanne!
    My garden looks like your’s but it still grows a lot of food, so I don’t care.

    Cardboard and mulch do help a lot but I only have that on one small garden. The rest of the veggies gardens are dirt, developing into grass. Weeds, not so much, but GRASS, is my enemy. As we speak I have foot tall broccoli and round cabbages growing in grass. I pull it around the plant but that’s all. I don’t weed the rows or between the plants. I spent AN ENTIRE DAY pulling grass from the long row of carrots, well, off and on, sort of.

  3. 6-10

    We all know that you know how to make a fine garden (we saw the pictures from your past); it’s just that you have fifty hundred million other things that you have to do every day. :hug:

  4. 6-10

    Very funny, but so true! My favorite vegetable gardens belong to the Amish. Neat rows, clean edges, beautiful plants. Mine, not so much. But I use raised beds and once they’re weeded and planted and somewhat maintained, they’re pretty good!

  5. 6-10

    I mostly gave up on my fight with the ragweed and grass weeds. I switched over to raised beds. Far less acreage to weed that way. Last year I covered the whole thing in black plastic to kill the weeds. Then this year I covered all that in contractor grade weed block and mulch. Then we built 2×10 raised beds and filled them with soil. I need to fertilize, but for the most part it all looks good. Current pictures are on my blog. I also scattered a lot of basil and marigold seeds in the beds with the plants, so I am convincing myself and FabHub that all those little plants are supposed to be there. Except the grass, I can at least recognize those blades that need to be pulled.

  6. 6-10

    I have raised beds — made from FREE old 18 bushel produce boxes. There’s very little weeds — I mostly get grass, but that grows so fast you KNOW what it is and can get it out of there! My compost bin is an old pickle box (at least 18 bushel).

    Things will grow Suzanne, and it’ll be a surprise every time you go out there what you will find :)

  7. 6-10

    I really got a laugh out of this one! However, we went to square foot gardening some years back because of this very thing. My husband was so against it at first. I would not shut up about it and ordered Mel Batholomews Square Foot Gardening videos (I had watched his tv show. It is really the Ticket. We have 5 four foot squares and they look nice and are easy to maintain. Mel has a website now also. 52 would probably be against it, but with some initial work it would be beautiful. Anyway I loved your piece this a.m….very clever writing.

  8. 6-10

    I have spent the last 3 evening pulling grass and still have a lot more to pull. It’s my quiet, me time. Therapy from the day with my boys LOL.

  9. 6-10

    OH, :sun: Suzanne it will get there. We put down black fabric cloth this year so hopefully less weeding. Still need to put potatoes in I know I am real late and lately we been having lots of rain and they would of just rotted. It is always hard to get going but once you do you take pride in what you are accomplishing. :sun:

  10. 6-10

    Haha, love it!

  11. 6-10

    I know how you feel Suzanne, my garden is full of weeds but it’s getting better! We have crab grass all over the place and man is that hard to get rid of…it means trying to dig up EVERY SINGLE BLADE! I think I’ll be digging that stuff up forever. Good luck with yours! Chic :hungry2:

  12. 6-10

    I also get a major case of garden envy when I see other people’s idyllic little plots.

    My garden has crooked rows, endless weeds and chicken nibbled leaves, but I still feel at peace when I am working in it. It’s just one of those magical places, I guess. :ladybug:

  13. 6-10

    I have a hint: weeds don’t come back if ALL of the root gets pulled. I try to wait until the weed gets big enough leaves to grab onto and wait until after a nice rain–the roots let go of the soil so much better. The best part about weeds is that the chickens don’t seem to care if they are eating cabbage or dandelions!

    I think the Amish have such nice gardens because they use REAL fertilizer–not from a bag from the garden store.

  14. 6-10

    Loved the post. We’ve had lots of rain so my garden is coming up good . . . and so are the weeds. Everyday I say I have to go hoe the weeds under and put straw down but so far. . . I forget about it as soon as I think about it!

  15. 6-13

    Hilarious! Yes, gardens take a bit of ‘work’ but we too put some of our garden into ‘raised garden boxes’ and it takes a lot less time, with great results. We have very sandy soil so we filled the boxes with a load of good mulch and topsoil. Happy Gardening!!

  16. 9-3

    oh I love love love this one–I so know the feeling !!! But youve gotta love him anyway!! :heart:

Leave a Reply

Registration is required to leave a comment on this site. You may register here. (You can use this same username on the forum as well.) Already registered? Login here.

Discussion is encouraged, and differing opinions are welcome. However, please don't say anything your grandmother would be ashamed to read. If you see an objectionable comment, you may flag it for moderation. If you write an objectionable comment, be aware that it may be flagged--and deleted. I'm glad you're here. Welcome to our community!

Daily Farm

If you would like to help support the overhead costs of this website, you may donate. Thank you!

Sign up for the
Chickens in the Road Newsletter

The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....

Today on Chickens in the Road

Join the Community in the Forum

Search This Blog


December 2020

Out My Window

I Love Your Comments

I Have a Cow

And she's ornery. Read my barnyard stories!

Entire Contents © Copyright 2004-2020 Chickens in the Road, Inc.
Text and photographs may not be published, broadcast, redistributed or aggregated without express permission. Thank you.

Privacy Policy, Disclosure, Disclaimer, and Terms of Use