Saturday, July 9, 2011

For Your Weeding Enjoyment...

I received a cheeky text from my friend Samara earlier this week that began "Ronny, Ronny, how does your garden grow..." to check in with me. But it presented a big, daunting question: how does my garden grow? After enjoying many hours with friends and family in recent weeks, sitting in the backyard, the answer was "it grows out of control with weeds." Even the herbs, planted in pots looked a little singed after so many hot days and ne'ery a thought of watering them until I had a "holy sh*t!" moment. I couldn't help but think of Ken and how lovingly tended to the garden when I was watering. And while working to figure out my new "normal", my mind spun repeatedly, thinking about the garden.

So, this morning, I decided to take action. I armed myself with a do-rag (a la Ken) and these tools...

I began a three-hour weeding frenzy the likes of which my lower back and knees had never known. It was satisfying and cathartic. Yanking out deeply rooted interlopers proved to be a great release--almost enjoyable. I knew Ken would be proud--and most like dumbfounded--by my single-minded drive to eradicate anything that didn't belong there. I'm certain my amateurish eye to all things green pulled out beauties that belonged, but I'm even more certain that anything that didn't belong was abruptly dislodged and tossed, limp and lifeless, onto the hot sidewalk until I bagged up all the refuse and put it by the garbage.

In my mind's eye this garden is Ken's--as it always has been. He planned, tended and cultivated it year after year. But there came a point during my work today, eyes stinging from the sweat streaming into them, that I began to consider thinking of this garden as my own. It's a thought that hadn't ever really occurred to me before. But perhaps like my recent affinity with cooking (another Ken specialty) that I might take an interest in gardening. Nothing ambitious to start with. But I have a lot of blank soil to fill in, and even I find it a little hard to believe that I'm kind of excited about going to Home Depot to see what might catch my fancy.

This project was enjoyable in a few ways. Most obviously, it's good to be busy and productive no matter where you are in your life. Secondly, it's a meaningful way to connect with Ken, honor him and the home we made. And last but not least, growing pretty things is just cool--as is growing herbs that I love to cook with. Did I love the hellish alien creatures that were dislodged from their dark and cool hiding places? No. Do I think they are going to collaborate and stage an invasion of my bedroom while I sleep in order to kill me? Most likely. Did I entertain elaborate snake scenarios? Definitely. Will I look at purchasing venom-proof gardening gloves? Hellz yes!

It will take some time to get into the mindset and rhythm of caring for my garden, but I'll take today as a superb victory. As I sit here in the backyard typing this blog, I feel a sense of satisfaction that I'm certain Ken felt often, but for me it's new. I feel like I earned the right to sit back here and look around in the twilight at my plants. I feel proud.

Here is the proof that all you haters have all been waiting for.








  1. Wow! Nice work! Can you come out here and work on our garden too?

  2. Gad. Maybe instead of a gadget whore you'll start being a garden whore.... hmm...

    Dear Mr. Jobs,
    Please make an iGarden for my BGBF, Ron Stoppable.
    Thank you,
    Min Possible

    Seriously though, I love this story too. And I love that you got your ass out there and showed that garden who's boss. (Mona, right?) But I love that you find so many ways to honor Kentastic. It makes me smile.

  3. It was a wonderful right of passage, taking oner the guar den and trying to tame it. It's been very satisfying without much ambition. (this year). Watch out, next Spring!!!

  4. Rachel FrothinghamJuly 28, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    I remember talking to you about the garden-so happy you kicked some ass out there! I recently weeded a friend's garden (trying to live vicariously I suppose)--and it WAS satisfying to pull those interlopers out. I guess I MIGHT consider planting my own so that I am not tending someone else's garden. :)