One more time.

I’ve had the worst luck over the past several years with my garden. In 2005, we were living in military housing in New Orleans. I put a ton of work into my little garden. It wasn’t huge, and I was very inexperienced, but dudes? I loved that little patch of flowers and herbs, and even won an award for it in July of that year.

Then, Hurricane Katrina hit, and ripped all my carefully tended plants to shreds. We moved to Oklahoma, which has a completely different climate. I tried to throw a few things in, but everything croaked. Who knew that plants that thrived in the humidity of New Orleans would find the hot, dry winds of Oklahoma inhospitable? Me. I didn’t know. It was a semi-tropical plant genocide.

Then, I hurt my shoulder quite badly and required surgery. The healing process was long and painful. I could barely get my arm up to brush my own hair, so digging was completely out of the question. I spent that time researching though, so I wouldnt murder any more innocent bedding plants. Yep, for months, I stared out the window, sighing like a 14 year old reading Sylvia Plath, wishing I could actually go out and get dirty. It was not to be, and there went plans for that year’s garden.

I finally figured out what would be good here. I finally had the use of both arms. All systems were go. I ripped up a ton of sod crabgrass, and poured my heart and a good deal of cow manure into the garden. It was good the first year, but I had planted a bunch of perennials that would really only come into their own with time.

Then, we got evicted. For the record, it was nothing we did. As MadameX, star of the fried bull ball story, partner in patio beer drinking and former neighbor can tell you, we were quiet and mostly cool to live near. Anyways, we had been paying our landlord rent, but he hadn’t been paying his mortgage, and long story short, the house was repossessed by the bank.

We moved to a new house a few blocks down, and once again, it was too late to start anything. I decided to wait, again. It was only 8 or so months until I could start digging again, so I figured I could put up with it.

Then, I was running around with the dog in the backyard, about a month before the ground started to warm up enough to be worked. Shes a herding breed, and apparently she decided I was being a rowdy cow who needed correction. She did her herd-y correcting thing, clipped me and blew out my knee. No joke or exaggeration, she caused the unhappy triad (seriously, thats a real thing. Look it up and wince) of knee problems. Surgery was required. My career in the NFL was not going to be, and sadly, neither was my garden that year.

So. This year. I am not hurt, I am not going to be evicted, and I am pretty sure that hurricanes are rare in landlocked states. I started a flat of seeds, which sprouted beautifully, then ended up pushed onto the floor by a jerkface cat. I might have cried, but its only one flat. I could redo it.

I started more seeds–six flats of them. They also sprouted beautifully. Johnny Rotten bought me a cold frame greenhouse thingie, and I put all the little green babies in there to protect them from the stupid a-hole cat. Wouldn’t you know, a freak windstorm happened a week later, which ripped the cold frame to pieces, and blew all of my sprouts over my yard and the yards of everyone a mile downwind. I definitely cried. For real, y’all. Johnny Rotten checked on how bad it was, cameback in, and his face said it all. He didn’t even have to say anything, and I started sobbing. I know, I know. They’re just garden variety tomatoes, pardon the pun. But I was so excited about them, and I was heartbroken when it looked like all of my hard work was for nothing again.

He asked if I wanted to try to replace them. I said no, and my bottom lip quivered. He urged me to try one more time. I pouted and sighed like the drama llama I am. He told me how happy he is when he sees how happy I am when I’m outside, hauling bags of mulch, pulling weeds or breaking hard ground with a mattock. Fine, if it made him so happy, Id try one more time.

I only agreed to get him off my back. He’s tenacious, and I knew he wouldnt let it go. I harrumped, sighed and grumped my way to the local diy store to pick out more plants and seeds, like a gardening Eeyore with a massive chip on his shoulder. But, you guys? Look!


Confederate jasmine, tiger lily, dianthus, viola

It’s working! This is part of the front bed that I put in. The back is still very much in progress, but Im so happy, and I cant wait to get out there again to work more. Its raining today which is why I am writing instead of digging, but the first break in the clouds? Im grabbing my shovel.

I’m so glad I listened to Johnny Rotten and his optimistic harassment. I do love this. It does make me so happy. This is going to be my year, I can just feel it.