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The Garden Has Gone to Seed But Hope Springs Eternal
by Eleanor Tylbor
by Eleanor Tylbor


Eleanor Tylbor has been a freelance writer and columnist for more than twenty years. A resident of Laval, Quebec, Canada, she began her career as a columnist writing for weekly papers and continues to freelance a column covering local news for “The Chomedy News.”

She has also freelanced articles for Internet sites in addition to providing human-interest pieces for various dailies, and is a monthly contributor to the site, sharing her humorous observations and gardening-angst with gardening aficionados.

She is now into balcony gardening.

Blog The (Somewhat) Complete Gardener

December 19, 2010

Not too long ago, I used to garden. Ask any gardener who will confirm, there's nothing like getting down and dirty working the soil with your hands. It's probably a flash-back to the time as children when we spent our summer days revelling in the dirt and sandbox. As mentioned, gardening is now an activity discussed in the past tense.

It's been three years since we sold our house and went condo and I'm still afflicted with pangs of abandonment. Not that the garden was a showplace out of House and Garden or anything but it was mine and we had an understanding: I would plant stuff and it would grow, maybe. It took me years to cultivate the three rose bushes in the back yard and when they finally produced blooms, I felt like a new mother revelling in the delight of her new offspring. My favorite was the tangerine florabunda that never failed to produce at least one flowering, while the pink hybid tea gave me a few token buds in a good year. We had a combative relationship to say or write the least. As you can tell - I'm feeling sentimental and missing them all.

Having moved into the same neighborhood, I frequently make a point of passing by the house and glance out of the car window at the new plant additions or demises. Although the house is no longer ours, I feel a sense of responsibility as to their welfare. In retrospect, it would have been better to keep them in memory. In order to cut back on the cost of annuals, perennials were planted over time in the hope they would fill in the spaces. The rock garden was now covered entirely with wood chips with no sign of my plethora of growing plants, while the rock garden shrubs were transformed into small trees. It's their house now I tell myself wondering if my beloved roses are still in the land of the living.

These days my horticultural endeavors are relegated to balcony gardening having brought along my containers and flower boxes, which are filled to capacity with annuals in the summer. It's not the same but I'm still occupied with dead-heading the flowers and watering non-stop since the earth in containers require freqent watering. Two grecian urns were also added that are also filled with an assortment of flowers. Our condo is located near the river where our municipality focuses on planting natural species that are common to this type of area, are visually attractive, yet retain the soil.

It's winter and I'm planning for summer cultivation, perhaps adding some mini tomatoes. Maybe I'll go all out and try a small rose bush, knowing from personal experience that roses make slaves of their cultivators. I'm used to it! When it's all said and done, a gardener is always a gardener, even on a balcony.

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