Dear Garden: It’s Not You. It’s Me.



Nyc or garden

Dear Garden,

By the time you read this, I'll be gone.  Please don't try to come after me.  You are, after all, rooted to the ground, and even if you did manage to uproot yourself and go running down the street, you'd probably just get mistaken for green waste and hauled off to the dump.

So don't risk it. It's not worth it.  I'm not worth it.

I know it's hard for you to understand why I would leave now, just when things were going so well.  I mean, look at you!  You look great.  You're just about to hit your peak.  Any day now, you'll be bursting into bloom all at once, and it will be truly dazzling.  Any gardener would be lucky to have you.

But here's the thing:  Sometimes a woman needs a little city life.  Half the time, when I'm out digging or deadheading with you, I'm thinking of somebody else. I'm dreaming of cocktails at the Algonquin, or the small crowded streets of the East Village, or art galleries in Soho. And that's not fair to you.

So, once again, I've gone off to Manhattan, just when things were so good between us.  I don't expect you to forgive me, but I do hope that you can go on without me.  I'll be back–I always come back– but I know you can't wait for me. Go ahead, do your thing without me.  I'll be there later, after it's all over, to deadhead and pick up the pieces.  But I can't be there now. I hope that someday you'll understand.

And really–don't blame yourself. There's nothing you could have done.  It ain't you, baby–it's me.



  1. Amy, I feel the same…last year I abandoned seven peonies about to bloom to skip off to London. Coals to Newcastle, rather!

  2. We just came back from a week vacation and I swear I will never leave in May again. I missed most of the peonies,the poppies, and the lettuce and spinnich bolted. And the weeds….Spent the weekend on my knees.

  3. We only take short weekend trips in the summer–I love my flowers so much, I couldn’t bear not to see them. We hope to get to NYC in late August, though, when most of the flowers are done. I’ll have to trust my neighbors to harvest the tomatoes!

  4. My life is rich in part because a handful of summer trips are becoming traditional: weekend in Delaware County on July 4, Buffalo soon after for Garden Walk, a weekend with friends at Star Lake, a week with friends in Maine at the end of the summer.

    But I grumble every single time I have to leave my garden!

  5. Ah, balance. I’m already asking my garden to forgive me for the getaways I hope to take in summer and fall when the beds may need supplemental water or the tomatoes may have fruit ready for harvest. Thank goodness living spaces strive to stay alive, with or without us.

  6. Years ago the house we were renting was sold out from under us, and we had to move out in August–right when our huge veggie and flower garden was in full swing. That’s a more permanent abandonment than your fling in the city, but what a heart-breaker, I’ve never forgotten it, and ever since when I lived in a rental, I would think twice before planting anything in the Spring: Would I be there through the growing season? Never had the luck of inheriting such a garden when moving in anywhere, unfortunately.

  7. Well, holy crap . . . someone finally found the good point about not being able to afford to go anywhere. Ever. Yay!

  8. Too funny! I’ll have to have the same conversation with my garden when I head off to India for two weeks at the end of the month. Maybe if I promise to bring back a gift…

  9. Amy: If you need a “fix” whilst in NYC, come visit some of the most awesome gardens to be found anywhere! Such as the Conservatory Garden (Central Park), the Heather Garden (Fort Tryon Park [and while you’re there, also check out the beautiful gardens at the Cloisters]), Bryant Park, Battery Park City Parks, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, etc. etc. etc. Have a great time!

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