Preferences in Futility

– Posted in: Garden chores
1 comment

We all have our preferences in futility. I have at various times made different forms of this observation, but today it struck me again as I watched my Mom weed her flower garden. I wouldn’t do that, I thought. It wasn’t because I thought weeding was too hard–weeding is easy. It wasn’t because I hate weeding–weeding is okay, and I actually enjoy the appearance of a weeded garden.

The futility of weeding is what gets to me. You spend a lot of time weeding a garden and a week later you need to do it all over again. And again. And again. It’s like running in place and never getting anywhere, or building castles in the sand only to have the tide destroy them. My reaction is, “I have only so many hours in the day and if a garden is not going to stay weeded for a good long time, I’m not going to weed it.” This is why I work better with vines and trees. The repetitive maintenance activity is seasonal, not every week.

But I’m not some high-minded person who thinks he abstains from such ridiculous things as futile activity. I know I simply prefer other forms of futility. Read more here.

About the Author

At age fifteen, Rundy decided he wanted to write for his living. He is currently working on a novel, although it is not the novel he started at fifteen. When not working on the novel, he might be riding his bike, feeding his chickens, helping his neighbors, messing around with web design and computers in general, or writing on his blog, which discusses other topics in addition to gardening. USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 AHS Heat Zone: 3 Location: rural; Southern Tier of NY Geographic type: foothills of Appalachian Mountains Soil Type: acid clay Experience level: advanced beginner Particular interests: fruits, vegetables, major landscaping, chickens and other poultry

Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.

~Adrian Higgins in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013

Comments on this entry are closed.

jenn August 8, 2006, 5:45 pm

Oh, Rundy, don’t delete your work! That’s your compost pile, fertile ground for fresh ideas to morph from old.

Put your stuff away for a year, or more, then randomly return to it and see if it leads you somewhere… or dig it up when something you are working on tickles a past project.

Nothing then, is wasted.