The aroma of a gardener is a unique mix

Victoria TorleyIf you’re a gardener, you usually have dirt under your fingernails, smudges on your clothes and aches just about everywhere.  You scrub and wash and then reach for your favorite ache potion.  That potion can smell bad.

Not a problem if you head right to your favorite couch, but sometimes I like to go out, really out, like to a nice place for dinner because I am too darn tired to cook.  The problem?  Did you ever get a whiff of Bengay mixed with Chanel No. 5? A very odd combination indeed. Pungent, too. If you’ve ever wanted to turn heads as you walk to your table, give it a try.

Then there is the problem of those odd little smudges. You could swear that you scrubbed everything, but it turns out that there was a stubborn patch behind your left knee. . . . ? Or maybe it was that bit of dirt you missed on your neck or the stubborn grit under a fingernail? In a small town like ours, the news will be all over by morning that you: smelled really strange last night and don’t know how to bathe.

Friends understand, though (I hope) because, as they say, most gardeners have: “been there, done that.” And it will probably happen again.

Right now, though, I am spotlessly clean and frightfully depressed about it. Why? Because it means that I haven’t really gardened in weeks and weeks. Why? Because I had shoulder surgery and was told to rest. I hate resting. I don’t know a single gardening enthusiast who wants to sit and rest unless it is at the end of a long, hard day of raking, sowing, composting, weeding, and just generally playing in the dirt.

That’s when you rest. You rest, semi-reclined, feet up and beer in hand, and enjoy the view from the deck. The tree you planted, the pile of mulch you have plans for and the row of veggies all ready to produce. Your rest is well deserved. Compared to that, resting with your arm in a sling is boring and purposeless.

But, we are gardeners, and these little setbacks, while boring, cannot dampen our enthusiasm. I will be out there again, overdoing it as usual, until my husband, Metric Man, calls me and insists that “you’ve had enough.” Then I will be back inside and covered with Bengay. Maybe he will be sympathetic and take me out to dinner? . . . nah.

Plant of the Week

Here is a great shrub, locally called the sombrero plant for its hat-shaped flowers.

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