Some have green thumbs, and some just green gloves

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Time has sprouted when garden conversations seem to be centered on getting potatoes planted; or how many hills of taters are already in; or worrying about if that just-right tomato plant will be available at the garden store. As for me, I’m concerned where the nearest farmer’s market will be and when it opens.
It’s pretty obvious I’m not much of a gardener. My green thumb doesn’t go beyond the set of green work gloves I slip on. I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’m best at growing weeds.
Our garden disappeared several years ago into weedom. The rabbits are now thinner since there are no rows of sprouting green beans to nibble on. That once garden spot can now only be identified with a rectangular border of rotting railroad ties. I should also mention inside that rectangle are not only four peonies, but blotches of drought-resistant grass that’s dotted with emerging dandelions.
Over the years I just couldn’t seem to create a garden I was proud of. Many times I would plow under a few rows and replant again ... and again. My efforts were shameful. What always started with planting enthusiasm ended with embarrassment and eventually hardened to just disgusting. It seemed rabbits, aphids, weevils and beetles were the only crops I was raising in my garden. Thus, several years ago my proclamation was made, “I’ll never have another garden.”
  I eventually weakened and put that proclamation aside one more time because I was still determined to be a gardener. I listened to envied gardeners who recited to me their key points to successful gardening. In my case advice must have fallen on deaf ears or was smothered by my refusing to become a gardening slave.
One piece of advice I did follow was the recommendation to “Plant carrots in January and you’ll never have to eat another one.” I was somewhat leery following that advice because I recalled when I was younger my mom told me to eat my carrots and I would never have to wear glasses.
Now if you think I’m exaggerating about my gardening, I can identify myself with the guy who told his friend, “I had a rock garden, but three of them died!”
Many times I had turned to the betterhalf during my gardening efforts. I think she saw the handwriting on the wall and after a few times she became aware of another piece of advice I was trying to follow, “No man should plant more garden than his wife can hoe.”
Sometime during the few years of my garden escapades the betterhalf had found an idea that worked for her. “To enjoy garden work put on a wide hat and gloves; hold a little trowel in one hand; and then tell the man where to dig.”
  This year I again look forward to those fresh vegetables. And again they will be found at a farmer’s market or handouts from a few “over-supplied” successful gardeners.
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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