She liked to look at In the Garden With Jane Austen and The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden and imagine that she too could have a garden. A garden like the one she had up north with peonies and lady’s mantle and lamb’s ears. But of course she lived in the south now with mosquitoes and lubbers and fire ants and gardening was much more of a challenge and much less enjoyable.
She dug up little borders alongside the patio anyway, and planted some ornamental grasses and honeysuckle and coreopsis and prostate rosemary. It was a very small accomplishment.
Then the summer rains started. And beautiful tender little grasses started sprouting in the beds along with weeds. Now she not only missed the gardens up north, but the soft, cushiony lawns too. She dug and raked and pulled out as much of the grass as she could. She spread mulch, so that at least for a morning or two or even three she could enjoy the tidiness of her very small accomplishment.
When she finished there were constellations of no-seeum bites on her legs and dirt under her nails. She took a nice, long shower and ate a popsicle and was happy to see that the bites were already fading.