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When Does A Gardener Stop Being a Gardener?


columbines from Catherine’s garden

It’s that time of the year again. Spring! And with spring comes the annual A Writer’s Garden blog series.

Soon, when it finally stops raining, we writer/gardeners will be able to get up from our computers, dust off the garden gloves, and hit the weed patches. I’ve already got some writer/gardeners lined up for the April, May and June, and will be filling the rest of the spots soon. So be sure and follow by email so you can get the garden posts, in all their pictorial glory, as they appear each Thursday, beginning April 13.

The mowers and weed whackers are going strong in the neighborhood as I write this post, disturbing a sunshiny and otherwise peaceful Sunday afternoon—one of the few non-rainy days we’ve had recently in my neck of Southern Ohio.

As I sit at the computer listening to the motorized racket, I’m pondering a particular question: When does a gardener stop being a gardener? I ask this because as my body ages (my back in particular) gardening gets harder and harder, especially the clean-up. I’ve hired a local landscaping company to come in and do my clean-up this year, and a monthly weeding, because I’m just not physically able to put in the hours needed to clean up last year’s dead flowers and dig out the ground-level weeds.

I’m also considering graveling a number of ground-level beds alongside the house and installing raised potting systems in the gravel beds. Of course that will mean I have to water more often, so some sort of self-watering or drip line will have to be installed. I need a planting surface that is high enough that I can pull my garden stool alongside, sit, and plant and harvest in the raised pot.

Years ago, when I was younger, I wrote a piece for the local newspaper about a raised bed system in a retirement/nursing home. The wooden beds were fairly shallow and the bottom high enough that wheelchair-bound residents could roll their seats under the planter and reach the edges of the bed to dig in the dirt. At the time, I thought it was interesting, but not something I wanted to see in my yard. Flowers growing at ground level intrigued me more. I dreamt of cascading waves of blooms sweeping across the lawn and a vegetable garden that rivaled my grandmother’s, complete with picket fence. She canned all of her and Poppy’s food for the winter from her own garden. I never achieved those heights of horticulture, but the dream and desire was there.

Now, I’m perusing garden catalogs and lusting over galvanized tubs and gigantic, self-watering planters big enough to plant corn in. My how one’s perspective changes!

My ability to do the physical side of gardening is becoming more and more limited, but that doesn’t stop my desire to dig in the dirt, watch the plants grow, pick a bouquet of flowers from my yard, or harvest my own tomatoes.

Some people get cabin fever every spring. I get gardening fever. I have it today. My fingers are itching to pull some weeds, reposition some flowers, and stroll through the garden center for veggies and a big tray of marigolds. I love marigolds! Even when my back twinges at the thought of bending, I still have the desire to garden.

So, to answer the burning question of the day—When does a gardener stop being a gardener?—I think NEVER! And now for a really bad gardening pun.

Old gardeners don’t stop being gardeners—they just don’t do it as mulch. ☺



About the Gardener:

Gardener/writer Catherine Castle has been gardening all her life in pots, plots, and wherever she can find dirt. Her favorite thing about gardening is the satisfaction she gets from a well-weeded flowerbed. When she’s not gardening she’s writing sweet and inspirational romance.

Her debut novel, The Nun and the Narc, is a multi-award-winning inspiration suspense romance.

Captured by the local Mexican drug lord after she interrupts a drug deal, novice Sister Margaret Mary risks losing her life, her vocation, and her heart when she falls for undercover DEA agent Jed Bond who is imprisoned with her. Nuns shouldn’t look, talk, act, or kiss like Sister Margaret Mary. Jed knows she’s off limits, but his heart can’t help wanting this woman who’s been promised to God.

Her next novel, a romantic comedy with a touch of drama, entitled A Groom for Mama, is slated to release in September 2017. Follow Catherine through this blog or on  Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorCCastle