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Garden Disorders: For the Love of Gardening

April 23, 2009

photo by Aaron Escobar

photo by Aaron Escobar

Many people garden as a hobby, but can you admit you may have a problem?  You spend endless hours caring, feeding and harvesting the bounty of our efforts.  Some of you may be obsessed with trying to grow plants out of your zones, designing new gardening contraptions to make the job easier or your entire back yard becomes a nursery.  Your friends are tired of you talking about your flowers, fruits and pest control.  Your counter tops are filled with herbs, cuttings and compost bins.  Some may call it a mental illness, as a matter of fact, there may be definitions for some of these disorders.

Gardening Disorders 101

G.A.D. Generalized Asparagus Disorder – Thoughts of crisp asparagus spears dance through your head.   You can’t decide to have them steamed, canned, seared, or boiled.  How about raw, pickled or plain with lemon, ranch or butter?  Your brain hurts with thoughts of asparagus in soup or salad.    Your heart flutters at the very idea of asparagus with a chicken dish, and adding butter and bacon makes your mouth water.  Maybe have the spears of green goodness with fish or hollandaise sauce.  It is so hard to decide.  Your palms get sweaty at harvest because you can taste the sweet spears on your walk out to the garden.  There is a treatment for this disorder it called plant and eat as much asparagus that you can.

S.A.D. – Strawberry Affectiveness Disorder – After the last berry has been plucked, and after the very last speck of strawberry has been sucked up by the slugs and snails, you still think of the previous season.  You had lovingly tended to your plants and you were proud of the stunted malformed berry harvest, and now those tart, face-contorting, seedy little things are gone.  Another year will go by until you can plant your little starts, battle the snails, pluck the weeds and wait for those eight precious little berries raise their globby little heads once again.  Absolutely depressing!

O.C.D.Obsessive Cantaloupe Disorder – You are at the seed store, perusing the melons and there they are:  The cantaloupes.  That sweet smell fills your senses.  Your eyes close and you begin to sway in the aisle just imagining all the fun you will have with your melons.  You tear open the package and eye the seeds.  The thought of a bounty zips around your head; you’d have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 plants with 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 melons per vine, which is 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, 39, 41, 44 melons, which I can cut up into 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36, 42, 48, 56, 62, 68, 74, 80 pieces for myself.  Mmm-mmm.

A.D.D.Apple Deficit Disorder – Oh let’s see.  About every three to five years you notice your apple trees give you less than a stellar crop or an anti-bumper crop, a bit short shrifted, nada, nothin’ doin’.   Even when you do get apples in the lean years they’ve been sucked, gnawed and nibbled by worms, pecked by birdies, wigged by earwigs and gnazzed by gnats.  What should you do with your few dilapidated apples?  Keep them for yourself?  Hide them in the deep crevasses of your stash? After all, they are your babies.  You nurtured them, cared for them and tenderly loved them.  Just the thought of giving them away gives you cold sweats.   The usual orders come in from friends for apple pies, sauces and crisps.  Now you know what to tell your friends  ”  Sorry, no can do.  I have A.D.D.”

P.T.S.D. – Post Tomato Stress Disorder – Depending on your location in the world, your tomatoes ripen in, say, about August or September.  Something extremely stressful happens: your tomatoes ripen.  I’m not talking one or two sweet and plump tomatoes, I am talking what seems like thousands of the juicy fellas.  So many that you have to take buckets of them to your co-workers.  You have to call in the National Guard to help collect the tomato explosion.  After making salsa and canning stewed, diced and whole tomatoes, even after trying your hand at ketchup, there are still more tomatoes.  Now, you know what comes next.  Your summer of love, care and feeding turns into mold, rot and mush.  The snails are having a luau, a shindig, a hoe down in a sea of your rotten tomatoes.  You can no longer collect the tomatoes fast enough, and alas, the stress has reached its pinnacle and the season is over.  All that is left is to enjoy your harvest.

Bi-Polar Disorder – Congratulations you just finished landscaping your yard.  You diligently planned your masterpiece.  Sunset magazine would be jealous of your mapping, design and distinction.  Now it’s one a.m. and your eyes spark open.  You think to yourself , “Wait a minute I put a purple by a pink, that will never work.  I will move it tommorrow.”  You drift back to sleep happy that you caught your mistake before full bloom.   The next day while gazing at your beutiful design, enjoying a lemonade, you realize there are too many grasses planted in a corner.  How silly is that?!  It will look like a spewed up hairball in no time.  “I better fix that right now,”  you mutter out loud.  While de-tangling the hairball, you realize that this changes everything.  You have to move that over there, this must move here, and that next to that.  Before you know it you have moved the entire south end of your yard to the north end, and the north end to the south.  A week later, you’ve placed the last stone in its perfect place, swallowed a canister of Advil, and triumphantly put away your digging tools.  The sun is shining and the birds are singing while you take a walk to enjoy your hard work.  Then, at about one a.m. that morning, your eyes blare open and you realize you planted your hostas in the wrong place…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2009 12:07 pm

    Have you heard of GNAED? Garden Needs Attention Everywhere Disorder. You go out into the garden to accomplish one single task and get sidelined by lots of other little jobs that you hadn’t intended to do. Suddenly a 10 minute job takes an hour and half!

    • April 28, 2009 7:36 pm

      Om my gosh…I am self-diagnosing myself right now? Any known treatments? I always plan do complete one task and it turns into 10. Great one to add to the list, thanks!

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