The March garden dozes. The April garden yawns. The May garden kicks up its heels, shakes its tail like a new lamb.
The June garden is an ostrich in full flight.
Every year, without fail, no matter how carefully I plan, no matter the fervor with which I give myself that stiff January talking-to about running a more tightly disciplined ship, the June garden leaves my sorry self supine in the soil, ears ringing like I’ve been clocked by a cast iron skillet. By the second week in June, I am woozily beginning to wonder, “wha’happened?”
Because the June garden isn’t intimidated by those three-day downpours that keep me penned up in the house grinding my teeth, the ones that send my best pest-control efforts swirling down the city storm sewer. The June garden remains unperturbed by extreme temperature advisories, by red air-quality alerts, by the puff-puff puff-puff of an inhaler gone empty ten puffs ago. It doesn’t care one whit about the trials and tribulations of weak kneed, over-heated, mosquito-exsanguinated human interlopers.
It simply keeps growing.
The June garden is where my catalog-addled January good intentions run afoul of my optimistic April inability to visualize or even measure the difference between 12” and 18”.
The June Garden is where the memory of fussing with February seedlings sabotages my May instinct to throw away extra plants for which there is no more space (“Lookee, hunny! I kin tuck this cute leedle lemon grass sprout right next to the horseradish plant. There’s room enough!”).
Between thundershowers and nursing my arthritic joints, I shuttle kids to and from canoe camp, art camp, swimming lessons, dental appointments, the dog to the vet, the car to the shop, and tap my foot impatiently while the very nice credit card customer service representative in Mumbai puts me on hold. By the time I catch my breath, screw up my courage and fling open the back door to Do Battle with a garden I’ve not seen in four days, I’ve already lost The Battle:
The June garden curls its lip and smiles that coyote smile. Wild grape vines have grown another 5 feet and are tearing down the rear chain link fence. The poke weed (taproot as thick as my wrist) has gone to fruit already; the evidence of its popularity with the local bird population is spattered spectacularly all over the vegetable bed, not to mention my automobile. The spinach has gone to seed. Again. I have eight rows of knee-high rainbow chard that will never be consumed, not if my entire family ate it every day from now until the Second Coming.
It’s June, and the garden simply keeps growing.