A Gardener’s Lot

This is my lot – a small garden around a slightly shabby Cape Cod house built in 1953 in Laurel, Maryland. My husband and I bought it in 2003, a few months before we married, much to my mother-in-law’s dismay. We’ve been here ever since, through almost 20 years of joys and sorrows.

The garden has been source of both. There is almost daily joy watching things grow, and the occasional joy of something truly beautiful. Sorrow comes and goes – there was the year I lost the front garden to a sewer line break, and the death of a beloved fig tree. In the garden death is usually an opportunity for new life, and so the sorrow doesn’t linger.

I am a Darwinian gardener. What isn’t well adapted to my garden dies, and is replaced with something more fit. I don’t water much, add compost only when I find money in the bank and time on my hands, and rarely spray anything to save a plant from bugs. That means I can’t grow things that need coddling – anything you see in my garden can take care of itself.

Weeds thrive, fragile things disappear, cicadas descend. Hellebores push through the snow, peonies dazzle, baby birds fledge and beg their parents for worms. All of it, the life and death and loss and beauty, that is a gardener’s lot.