If you love to garden, the worst thing you can have is a cold. Now, if you live in a temperate climate, the worst times to have a cold are spring, when you want to be out there planting things, and the fall, when you want to be out there harvesting things. After all, if you are sick between those times, you can at least go out and sit in a lounge chair in the sun and enjoy things.
Not so in the tropics. If you love to garden, the worst time to have a cold is the rainy season. Why? Because, of all the things you planted, you are pretty sure that the only things that are doing well are the things you didn’t plant: the weeds. After all, the weeds are happy native plants while your tomatoes and broccoli, your lilies and zinnias, are non-native things you planted on purpose. If that isn’t bad enough, in the rainy season, there is no hope for sitting in the sun enjoying things. There is just the beating of the rain on the roof and its splatting on the windows. Even the dog is depressed and wants nothing more than to curl up next to you on the bed and sleep.
So, that’s where I was, in bed with a small dog snoring next to me, wondering how fast the weeds are growing, how many nutrients are being washed out of the soil, and how much soil is even left in my mounded beds. I agree with the dog, it’s depressing.
There are, however, compensations. After all, it is winter in the temperate zones and there is pretty much nothing growing in my friends’ gardens right now. No, they are covered with snow in New York and feeling the effects of temperature even in Georgia. It will be quite a while until they look out the window and see even a weed poking its head out of the ground.
Here, on the other hand, I look out at heliconia and torch ginger in bloom. The bromeliads are blooming too, and I have my eye on an orchid that is budding nicely. With a little luck, there will be a break in the rain and even a ray of sunshine on wet leaves. It may not last long, but it is a sign of hope, a bit of comfort as I reach for another cup of ginger tea and reach over to pet the dog.
Having a cold in the rainy season? Maybe it’s not so bad after all…