Lean, Mean and Green

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=clematis&iid=5197250″ src=”a/e/9/d/Lavender_Clematis_climbing_650b.jpg?adImageId=12760102&imageId=5197250″ width=”337″ height=”507″ /]

I was in a garden centre this week ranting about my clematis. I must have reached a distractingly fevered pitch because the two employees who were listening to me turned to each other and said, ‘Hey, that could be a stand up comedy routine..you and your clematis‘. Maybe, they’re right. Except it ain’t funny.

I didn’t get into gardening for stress. I expected a soothing balm for my troubled soul. And it has, for the most part, been a very enjoyable experience. There were a few hiccups along the way like the time I suspected that kneeling over the lavender bush might cause enough of an estrogen surge to actually shrink testicles.

But now I have a severe case of clematis wilt which I know sounds suspiciously like some sort of sap-restrictive erectile dysfunction. I’m trying not to take it personally. I have reached the stage of my gardening where, if a plant does not perform as required, it gets the old heave-ho. That’s it. No more Mr. Nice Guy! Horticulturally, I give it about two years to get its act together before I kick it into mulchdom. I do try not to kill it with kindness nor let it suffer from neglect. But this damn clematis is testing my already limited patience.

I’m sick of nurturing a spindly stalk that does nothing but break at every turn (an errant Goldfinch can snap its back) and refuses to gain in strength year by year. I have shaded the roots. I have dutifully pruned it according to the complicated clematis system. I gave it a centre stage arbor upon which to perform. And it’s a bust.

In short, I want from gardening what was so difficult to achieve through parenthood…cooperation, gratitude and growth. If a plant doesn’t give me that it gets the shears in short order.

If we applied the same standards to our children they’d never be more than a foot and a half high.


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