Photo credit goes to Son of Groucho at https://www.flickr.com/photos/sonofgroucho/
I like gardens well enough, but for someone who managed to murder a cactus, I’ve spent an awful lot of time working in them. Unless you count the time I was playing with markers in kindergarten, I’ve never had a green thumb and I’ve always liked flowers more than I liked vegetables, which can be a problem if you’re gardening for food. Dandelion greens are probably the only thing I could keep alive, whether I wanted to or not.
A few years ago I found myself working as a landscaper in the Poconos. Most of our clients were wealthy and had large yards with expensive gardens, pools, perfectly manicured lawns, which always seemed odd to me because no one ever seemed to be home to enjoy it. I enjoyed it though, spending most of my summer days driving from property to property, mowing the lawns, watering the plants… I even did a little planting of my own, some of the only plants that I managed to keep alive for more than a couple of weeks. As far as I know they’re still there, unless the deer made it through the fence and at them that is.
I’ve worked in vegetable gardens on the farm I grew up on, in greenhouses with my dad, that landscaping job in the Poconos, and even a few landscaping jobs in Manhattan. Most of the time I felt relatively useless, more like a mobile tool cabinet than a useful gardener. When I worked alone it was chance to think, when I didn’t work alone it was a chance to watch people and learn more about how they act and interact, something that is essential for anyone who wants to write. Most of all though, I blended in to the background, staying out of the way of the few clients that were home, and leaving almost without notice. The grass would be clipped, the flowers watered, the fences repaired, and the garden beds mulched, and I would be just another ornament amid the blossoms.
I think that might be why I named this blog what I did. Otherwise, you might be reading My Life as a Gardener about how to get rid of aphids or how to stop the chipmunks from eating the roots to all of your strawberry plants.
If you’re an observant type, you probably noticed the other title, the one in the URL or in the link on facebook. Very different to be sure, than My Life as a Garden Gnome, but maybe there’s a story in that too. If you’d like to hear the tale behind Guns God and Heavy Metal, give this post a like and maybe share it with a friend. I haven’t given a timeline, or any plans for this really, so maybe I’ll do it now. I won’t be posting every day, I can tell you that much, but hopefully once or twice a week will work out well. You’ll find stories here, stories like today, or short fiction, sometimes even excerpts from longer bits that I’ve done. So, until next time, make sure you remember the garden gnomes you know, maybe shake their hands or offer them some water. Unless of course they are actual ornaments, in which case it might be better not to be seen talking to tiny plaster people.