Thursday, July 19, 2007

It is hard to love some of God's creatures

All creatures great and small, the Lord God made them all. But I could do without cucumber beetles, Japanese beetles, slugs and mosquitos. I know my garden could concur. As a part of the "boy, we should economize since I am not working anymore because I am going to seminary" I decided to restore the garden. We bought our house 15 1/2 years ago ( which I can always remember because I was pregnant with Lutheran Chick #1). The prior owners were outstanding gardeners with labeled plants, compost system, and they proudly gave me all of their planting journals ( which I have lost-please do not tell them!). Our first year, I was pregnant and then had a newborn and was somewhat overwhelmed by rhubarb, asparagus and strawberries which sprang forth, and which I was ill equipped to tend. I learned a little over two years until Lutheran Chick #2 was born. Now I became intent on organic gardening, no chemicals, lots of work and I tended a full garden for a few years ( the fact that I had two Lutheran Chicks running in the backyard made it easy.) I repaired fencing, put down landscape fabric in the walkways and hauled major stone in for the paths. But then, as they got more active and friends with pools started calling, well, I confess that the garden went to pot. And it was depressing to discover that as the landscape fabric did what biodegradable material does, the weeds and everything just got out of hand way before I could make headway. Two years ago, I decided a smaller garden and total weed killer spray was the answer, and out came rotting fence, volunteer trees, major chemicals ( for which I apologize to all the little hoppy toads that may have died) and it lay fallow. It helped that while I was doing all of this ripping out and pillaging, Lutheran Chick #1 was in England, Ireland and Wales, flying to London the week of the bombings. Last year I decided to turn the garden into my own little sanctuary, Key West colored spray paint on old wicker chairs, I installed a pond, and planted lots of perennials, and set up nifty bright colored birdhouses. This was a great way for me to recover from my uncle's self-inflicted death. It was peaceful ( except for the voles eating under some of the plants.) I tried to encourage the voles to leave, but when that did not work, I confess I looked for a more permanent solution. So now here we are, and I really should save money by growing my own veggies. What to do with the flower garden and pond? Container gardening! Which has been a pretty good idea. Critters cannot get into the pots, scatter them amongst the flower beds and pond, easy to tend. Life is good. But the cucumber beetles are really trying my patience and the strength of my organic insecticidal soap. The slugs really want my plants too. Mosquitos-need I say more. Which brings me to Japanese beetles. My neighbors have the Bag-a-bug trap, but on the way there, beetles are stopping at my place, and I just should not have to interrupt date night to pick my tomatoes and beans. I know I posted earlier about Forgiving and I had the death penalty issue in mind, but I really am having a hard time with these creatures, and my self-imposed ban on chemicals. But hearing my beloved spouse tell me "Go get 'em killer" as I march forth with the sprayer, is a bit much. Tomorrow the camp taxi leaves to take Chick #2 to Whale Camp in New Brunswick. Have a great weekend!


David said...

I love gardening, but you know what, so do the weeds. I gave up on it and now buy my veggies from the grocery store and produce stands. With all of the work that went inot the garden, it just wasn't worth it.

Whale camp?

Diane said...

so... the death penalty for the bugs, eh?
I am trying to start a little gardening again, but it's difficult. I gardened a little in my rural parish. I wasn't good, but it was good for me.

LawAndGospel said...

We used to have a share in a Community Sustainable Agriculture farm. The CSA was great but then they moved the farm 45 mintutes one way away. The gas and time were a killer- too bad- it was really yummy produce. I do buy at a couple local stands the things I cannot or will not grow, but hope spring eternal that I can get the plants to do their thing. I planted garlic which the birds pecked out of the pot. Not planning to retaliate. Whale camp will be a post when I get back.

Diane said...

ooh, garlic! all I am hoping for is a little basil and a few tomatoes (this year, anyway)