Here’s a story about hope. Anyone who lives in my neck of the woods is considered an optimist…if they plant a garden.
My yard is no different.
I’ve jokingly referred to my garden as the “all you can eat buffet” just for the deer. Those four-hooved devils have destroyed dozens of bean seedlings, uprooted pepper plants, and decimated my beloved hostas. They’ve chomped 50 spring pea plants, pulled my yellow squash out of the ground, and picked their teeth on my gladioli and Echinacea. Even plants labeled as “deer resistant” have taken a hit. Oh, rhododendrons, I will try my best to protect you better this winter.
I keep planting and the deer keep eating. Human efforts do not stop them from prancing around in my raised beds Commercial sprays, home remedies, and coyote urine deterrents do nothing to scare them off. I have fulfilled the very definition of insanity: my extreme foolishness encourages me to plant a garden year after year.
Or is it my optimism and hope that drives me forward again and again?
Even amidst all of the damage, my cherry tomatoes are producing like crazy. These four little plants endured two late frosts and a torrent of deer. Yet, they sprouted again and again from underground roots, sending out new suckers to reach skyward and eventually sport dozens and dozens of blossoms.
I picked a lone pepper off of a naked plant. No leaves, only tough stems, and one lone pepper holding on with all its might. The lime basil has thrived, possibly because the neighboring yellow beans gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Next Spring I’ll draw the last line in the sand…set my boundaries so to speak. I’ve picked out a fence that I’m going to buy. It’s not fancy, just 8 feet of mesh and heavy-duty poles to plant around my garden’s perimeter to give my newly sprouting seedlings a chance.
And like a new fence, my quiet separation from Husband #2 allows my feelings a chance to emerge, get expressed without retribution, and worked on as I move through them. I miss Husband #2 terribly and yet I’m treating our separation as a gift. I’m celebrating the Summer of Me.