Category Archives: Gardening

The Rat King In My Garden


As part of my actual New Year’s resolutions this year one of the things I wanted to do was start a garden. I’ve attempted in the past with mixed results but this year I was determined. To start things off I have to dig up a section the previous “garden,” and I use that term loosely, to make way for new sprinklers and a raised bed. This was not an easy task, made more difficult by my insistence to do it myself. Digging up virtually solid clay dirt and hauling bricks because I thought a nice little paved area would be lovely next the garden bed were not my best ideas. I suppose I could’ve counted them as health points given the labor involved. The pride I felt redirecting the sprinklers was only slightly diminished by my lack of an ability to get them to actually work. With the help of my trusty gardener, Francisco, the sprinklers we functional and I was ready to start composting.

For those who have never tried composting I highly recommend it. It’s surprisingly zen. I know why vegan-hipster-douches feel so superior now when they talk about their compost and how it makes them better than everyone else. I found myself falling into the same mindset. I felt so green saving my coffee grounds and dryer lint for a higher purpose. I got over my superiority complex pretty quickly though once I was ankle deep in decomposing food and mud and dripping with sweat. Rather than be a snob about it I started referring to my plot at the garbage heap, channeling childhood memories of Madame Marjory Trash Heap of Fraggle Rock fame.

After weeks of tenderly caring for my garbage heap I was finally ready to plant. Living in Arizona it gets hot by February so I knew I had to act fast if I wanted my plants to stand half a chance out there. everything started out so small and delicate. I didn’t think anything would survive my black thumb.

garden beginning

As it turns out my worries were unfounded.  “The trash heap has spoken!” And she said I would have a phenomenal garden! I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with now and a zucchini plant that resembles a rat king more than a vegetable.


My garden is now the place I go when my day is stressing me out. I look forward to seeing what’s ripe and ready to be picked. I find peace pulling weeds and whispering sweet nothings to my eggplant. It helps my anxiety and gives me something to focus on and be proud of.

I highly recommend every start a garden. You’ll find peace and beauty and fulfillment and you’ll get tomatoes.


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