Sunday, May 10, 2009

Why We Garden: The Dirty Truth Revealed by Donna Duffy

Oh, the many benefits of gardening. Ask any gardener and they’ll go on and on about the fresh air, the homegrown veggies, the peace and quiet, the fitness benefit of all that bending, digging and lifting. It’s also a great way to meet your neighbors and keep an eye on suspicious characters wandering up and down your street. Gardening brightens up the neighborhood and increases the value of your property. And I would be remiss not to mention the opportunity to impress your friends and family by casually throwing out words in Latin.

But deep down in the heart of the gardener lies a dirty truth – so ghastly that it’s never mentioned out loud. Face it: we garden so we don’t have to clean the house. Now! Doesn’t it feel better to let it out?

Honestly, which work environment do you prefer?

There are only so many hours in the day, right? Heck, we have all winter to create a clean, sparkly house. Summer is the perfect time to release ourselves from all that indoor drudgery and danger: unhealthy indoor air; fumes from carpets, plastics, and heaven knows what else. Don’t tell me you haven’t shuddered at the news stories about dust mites invading every nanospace in your home…and now bedbugs. Ugh. Clearly, indoors is a place to be avoided at all cost.

We’ve developed the skill of deflecting our friends and family away from the house and into the yard. It sounds like this:
• Come over for dinner, we’ll eat on the patio!
• It’s so much cooler on the porch than in the living room.
• Hmmm, I wonder why the front door is locked? Let’s go around back and check out the rose garden.

I’ve learned that all I really need to clean is one bathroom and a pathway from the patio door leading into it. Nothing else. The laws of extrapolation will lead your friends to believe that the rest of the house is equally clean.

So there you have it, our dirty little secret revealed. Now get outside and grab a trowel!