Yup, as I said in this week’s Dustinland comic, I’m a man, and I like to garden. I feel like I should be in a support group. Mostly because it’s all ornamental stuff. I think it’s cool to grow vegetables when you’re a dude, but as soon as you start talking about hydrangeas, people look at you like you’re a weirdo.
I think most people just don’t get it. If you’ve never gardened before, veggies make sense. That’s stuff you eat. Cool. You grow it, eat it, back to nature, straight from da earf. That makes sense to people. But growing flowers because they’re pretty? Isn’t that what sitcom moms do?
I think a good way to explain the satisfaction of growing things that you can’t eat is bonsai. Picture Mr. Miyagi, patiently snipping away at his beautiful bonsai plants. You can imagine the pleasure he feels, slowly taking care of this beautiful thing that grows bit by bit, requiring little yet so easy to kill. That is the essence of gardening. There is a joy in growing things. Planning it. Starting things small. Watching as it grows. Making it work. Fixing things that don’t work. Even bitching about it when bugs get the best of you or some supposedly amazing plant turns out to be little more than a pile of brown twigs. Honestly, what inspired this comic was simply the act of me going out into my yard and bagging up all the dead leaves that had covered the yard (acting as a little blanket for some of the more sensitive perennials) over the winter. Just clearing the yard up, uncovering the few green little buds coming up, that alone gave me a sense of satisfaction and calm. Even in Queens. Especially in Queens.