Part of me started to panic that perhaps he thought I should spend a bit more time weeding and tidying. Then I remembered that these folks weren’t gardeners, so his question was most likely amazed curiosity—something akin to my asking my neighbor with more than 20 cats how many cats she has.
Now, to be fair, I don’t spend nearly as much time gardening as some people I know. My friend at Fairegarden is out scrambling around early in the morning every day of every month of every year. She, like Gail at Clay and Limestone, even don head-to-toe clothing and netting to protect themselves from the tiger mosquitoes in Tennessee. And then there’s Layanee’s Rhode Island garden at Ledge and Gardens—a place so beautiful she must spend hours and hours keeping it just so.
But I do spend a fair amount of time out there gardening.
This year for the first year since we moved here that most of my time hasn’t been spent watering and weeding. Nature has favored us with regular rain and some beds have filled in so that weeds have no place to take hold. I have spent much more time planning and planting, moving plants to new locations and even just walking around and thinking about things.
Although I enjoy the whole process of gardening, from the digging to the hauling to the plant shopping (yippee!), I admit that the best of the best is wandering around and just looking at things grow. I never, ever tire of watching how the garden changes from day to day and even from hour to hour as the sun moves across the sky. I am amazed at the variety (and quantity) of the butterflies and bugs that make their home here. I am grateful for having a sense of smell so that I can appreciate the garden with that sense as well. Honeysuckle, roses, jasmine and cut hay combine to make the air better than any bottled concoction on sale at Nordstrom.
So when that fellow asked me how much time I spend gardening, my response was simple. “Not nearly enough.”