In My Own Voice #10: My Gardening Prowess Pays Off

Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Sometimes, it is triumph of hope over experience. Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as the canvas.   Elizabeth Murray—20th century American painter

At last, I am reaping the fruits of my earlier work in the garden.

Unfortunately, my family fails to recognize my skill. I think it’s because they are impatient and don’t have the vision to see how, with the garden as my canvas, I carefully considered the mix of plants, growing cycles, and weather to produce the beautiful result we are enjoying today. If you doubt me, see A Reluctant Gardener Revealed, where they bemoan the state of the garden and lay the problems between my paws.

But, as all good gardeners know, patience, planning, and a bit of luck pay off dividends in the garden.


Take the flowerbed by the house. My family stuffed it full of sedum forgetting that these plants grow monstrously. So, I divided the large, bulky plants into more appealingly-sized groupings. My family thought I was digging up the bed. Jeez! Ye of little faith. I am pleased to say the transplants are thriving and will create a delightful carpet of rust-colored blooms in a few short weeks.


The window box. This took some strategizing. First I chewed up a baseball glove, prompting my family to store the other gloves in the window box that they had stashed on the back porch. Confronted with this gross misuse of a window box, they were finally galvanized to stop procrastinating and install the box. You can see what a lovely addition it is to our garage. If I hadn’t chewed that glove up, the box would probably still be sitting on the back porch.

thinned flowers
Flowers blooming at appropriate height thanks to Pettigrew’s rolling around in the bed early in the growth cycle.

My final efforts this season centered on the flowerbed by the back fence. My family had not thinned the plants and, as result, the bed was crowded. Plants squeezing each other out for space.

Jumping into the problem, I dug, I rolled, I prowled back and forth over the plants, in short, I did what it took to thin the flowers. As you can see, we have an appealing bed of mixed blooms rather than the too tall, spindly stalks that would’ve resulted without my careful intervention.

After all, I spend a lot of time in the back yard. I want it to look nice.

[Note: Alas, artists are, so frequently misunderstood. If you too, have trouble with human: canine communication I suggest you see A Concise Dictionary of canine-to-English and English-to-Canine language or check out this blog

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