I’ve been doing a lot of gardening recently, probably more than at any other time of my life except when my spouse and I bought our first house nearly twenty years ago and thought we’d become avid gardeners like both of our mothers. Between the heavy clay soil, ubiquitous thistles, poison ivy, and—once a friend of ours trained her lawnmowing goats in our yard and brought her horses by a few times—mile-a-minute vine, it was far more laborious and less fruitful than we’d hoped. Later, when we’d scaled back our ambition and built a few raised boxes filled with bags of soil purchased from Home Depot, the seeds of a perennial sunflower we’d planted took over and made itself into an impenetrable (if pretty) autumn jungle; aside from a small effort at tomatoes every year we gave up. I probably could have handled the labor but the heat and humidity of upstate New York did me in.
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