Adventures of a Landless Gardener: Wednesdays Leave Me Feeling a Bit Green
I wish I could say Wednesday is my day to dig in the soil and tend the gardens. Unfortunately, Wednesdays leave me a bit green with envy. I am in the final stretch of my Master Gardener classes and I believe I may hold the distinction of being the only student who is landless. Not a spot of land do I own. I am firmly planted in a circa-1940 condo, complete with grounds that are lovingly tended to by a fellow resident, and a fountain that takes center stage in the courtyard and fills my home with its relaxing sound.
So why take classes if I am landless? I did have gardens, many gardens in the past. But life takes us down many garden paths and my current path, which has led to much peace and happiness, has also left me landless. The remarkable thing is, most of the time I find myself enjoying not having a garden. In the past, each day after work and most of the weekends was spent gardening. Now I have time to volunteer as a gardener, take horticulture classes at the university and enroll in the Master Gardener program. I also travel more. Setting off on wonderfully indulgent trips to tour gardens has become a favorite pastime as of late. And there is no guilt or separation anxiety about leaving my babies—I mean plants—behind. There are only so many projects one person can take on. Being landless allows me to experience the garden world in a whole new way.
But then Wednesday comes, and I hear my fellow classmates talk about their gardens, what went well this year, their plans for next year. I look at the gardens I have sketched in my course book and sigh. For a moment, I want to be like my classmates. I want to head home to my gardens and play by the light of the moon. I want to mark off new gardens with a hose, leave plants on neighbors’ front porches and spend way too much time and money at the nurseries.
Then I remember this small section of my sister’s garden that needs a little help, and I start to make a list of plants. As a landless gardener, I am not above begging and borrowing to get my hands dirty! More on that when we meet again.
Jenny Koester is a landless gardener in Cincinnati. You can follow her adventures on her blog, The Garden Life.