There are certain things about gardening that do not change, regardless of where you live, on what scale you garden or what you are growing.

I call them Robin’s Immutable Laws of Gardening…

I know you’re familiar with some of them, because you’ve likely bumped up against them regardless of your level of involvement with the great outdoors. These include:

  • Plants Die. Some die of old age. Some die of neglect. Some die of trauma. But eventually, all plants die.
  • Weeds are Inevitable. Weeds rate right up there with cockroaches in their superhuman powers to overcome all odds to succeed. Witness the fact that weeds have been seeing growing out of rocks, in the frozen tundra…anywhere.
  • Weather is Your Friend…and Your Enemy. The sun warms the earth and helps plants grow. Hurricane Katrina moves in and mows them down.
  • Critters Will Inevitably Invite Themselves to Dinner. Remember Peter Rabbit?

There are some other Immutable Laws that you may be less familiar with. Let me introduce you to Robin’s Immutable Laws.

  • Cats Think Newly Hoed Garden Beds Are Litter Boxes. You may never, ever, see a cat on your property. But if you spend a Saturday morning lovingly hoeing a square of earth, the earth somehow puts out a homing beacon that can only be heard by felines. And they come a calling with little presents.
  • There is a One-Third Chance that Garden and Landscape Contractors will Show up As Promised. Part II of this Law States: There is a one-third chance that those who DO show up will actually show up when they say they will. There is an equation for this and it looks like this:

1 x .333… x .333 = .111…

That means that there is only about an 11% chance that you’ll get done what you had planned to get done.

  • The Tool That You Absolutely Need Right Now Is Always In The Garage. Trust me on this. It is.
  • Despite What Fitness Experts Say. You Cannot Lose Weight by Gardening. Depending on what source you consult, the experts say you can burn a significant number of calories by doing lawn and garden work. My sources tell me I can burn 170 calories just riding around on the old John Deer mowing the lawn for an hour. In that time I can also burn 292 calories raking leaves in the fall. Or 306 calories weeding. I’m here to tell you that your body in no way recognizes the efforts as work and, therefore, does not allow fat to melt off your body. How do I know this as a fact? Well, think about this. I figure if I work about 10 hours in the summertime on any given weekend at an average of 300 calories, that would be 3,000 calories burned. Over the course of the summer, taking off a couple of weekends for vacations and slothfulness, that would amount to about 40,000 calories, which divided by the 3600 calories to make a pound equals more than 11 lbs. I can unequivocally state that I DO NOT LOSE 11 pounds over the course of a summer. Ergo, my law is true.
  • You Will Ruin Your Manicure. It doesn’t matter what hyper expensive brand of gloves you use, you will always look like a calloused farmhand if you even put a modicum of effort behind your gardening.
  • The Japanese Beetle Invasion Forces Invade On Or Around June 1, Depending On When You Are On Vacation. Do not, I repeat, do not fall for the myth that those unsightly little collection bags do any good. (This is a topic for another day.)
  • Just As the Lawn is Looking Truly Fine, the UPS Guy (or Fed Ex Guy) Backs Over It and Does a Wheelie. And do you REALLY want to make the guy who brings all your cool Internet shopping spree merchandise angry by yelling at him?
  • You Will Never…Ever…Be Finished. I’m tired just thinking about it all.