Guest Rant by Veratrine of Dark of Night.
Don’t get me wrong; I love my
garden. But seriously, gardening is gross, scary, and dangerous compared with
most other hobbies. You know: Baking. Sewing. Skydiving. Ordinary safe stuff
Case in point: last weekend:
Saturday, I put my ungloved finger
into a black widow lair, complete with black widow. Now, you’re thinking this
person must be blind AND a doofus, but knowing that all small spaces in my yard
are potential homes for those toxic ladies, I DO look before inserting fingers.
In this case, the space was inside a roll of green plastic tape used for tying
up tomatoes, and the black widow had somehow cleverly concealed herself when I
inspected the roll prior to picking it up. Fortunately, I withdrew my finger in
time, and no major damage was suffered. But the potential was emphatically
there, so that gives you the scary/dangerous factor.
Sunday, while tying up the late
tomatoes with the aforementioned green plastic tape (now that the black widow
had vacated her premises) I put my once-more-ungloved finger on a caterpillar
(admittedly an extremely small one). I screamed and jumped hastily away.
Sherlock Holmes-like, you might correctly infer that I am not one of those
gardeners who cheerfully hand-pick and squish pests. In fact, the rumors that
some people DO hand-pick and squish snails and other critters seem to me to
suggest that some gardeners positively revel in the more disgusting aspects of
Then there’s the salvia greggii,
infested with scale (gross). And the definitely gross things I sometimes have to
clean up in the garden…the remains of the local cats’ birds. The possum poop.
The remains of the possum that expired inconveniently behind the dietes
bicolora. (Generally, I avert my eyes, suppress the gag reflex, and make with a
shovel, but in the case of the dead possum, I chickened out after tracking it
down by smell and made my husband deal with it.)
And to get back to scary, there are
the various slithery scaly things that scuttle hastily through the foliage when
I water (although I would like to appreciate them, I find them scary and also
gross). Finally, due to a phobia acquired when I was about 8, I am appalled by
the presence of worms in the dirt I have to dig in. The guilty party in said
phobia has apologized for the worm incident, but the phobia
Basically, my average weekend in
the garden involves a series of subdued shrieks which bring my husband to the
window to make sure I’m okay:
“Okay, fine. Have fun.”
So, am I a total wuss, or is
gardening a pastime for the masochistic and those who are into extreme
And, yeah, maybe I should wear
Photo of “gross stuff on Salvia Greggii’ by Veratrine.