Gardening was on a list of things I’d get around to at some advanced point in my life. “I’ll give gardening a try [or whisky, or baking, or Wagner’s Ring Cycle, or tai-chi] when I’m 60. Or maybe 55, ha ha.” That’s what I’d say, thinking I had all the time in the world — so much time that I could schedule hobby-epochs as though my life were a study timetable.
Life doesn’t go like that. Better to use the time while you’ve got it. Now that I’m mumbly-seven years old, it’s looking as though there aren’t enough dispensable liver-years remaining for me to discover whisky, nor enough wet Sundays for me to penetrate Wagner’s Ring.
But I have become a gardener. Every day, I work in my funny-shaped ornamental garden, and most nights before sleep I imagine what I need to do next and what that little precinct of mulch and shrubs might eventually become. So that’s a physical and a mental commitment.
The desert blooms, a bit. My ornamental garden in December 2017. Notice our then-first sunflower, held to its stake by a snippet from an old business sock.