Thursday, June 11, 2009


I just went out to water my backyard petunias, which means only three plants, two in hangers. They looked like they really needed it, and I realized it must have been several days since I watered them.

I don't enjoy watering plants, mostly because most of the watering has to be done in the summer, when it's hot. I've lived in the South most of my life, but I've never gotten used to the heat. I get migraines from it and sometimes feel sick if I get hot enough. (It's not to the point of heat exhaustion, I've looked into that, but it really does affect me.)

Besides that, I'm lazy. When I'm in the house, it's easier to stay in the house. Good old inertia is the only explanation for not having watered the plants on the porch.

Oh, no, there's also forgetfulness. I was blonde at one time, for a long time, you know. And that artsy-absentminded-professory type, just that somehow I became a therapist instead of an artist or a professor. But anyway, the personality stayed the same, and I am good at getting absorbed in one thing and forgetting about all kinds of other things.

So, as I was on the porch just now, watering the poor pink petunias, the thought came to me that according to the Zodiac, I'm an Acquarius. A Water Carrier!

And while I'm not planning to start orienting my life by astrology, there's something about having that ancient symbol to connect with that makes the idea of watering over the summer seem a bit more doable.

Maybe I can get myself a toga to wear, a uniform, for this important duty. Something to make it more adventurous. Maybe I'll go buy a new watering can. And I must start wearing my hat when it gets hot. Though the wide-brimmed straw hat would not quite go with a toga....

Well, I'm just thinking out loud. I have a feeling the biggest part of this is my old friend discipline. Training myself to think about it, remember it, do it, and just deal with the heat. Years ago I heard that discipline means remembering what it is you really want. And while I want to stay inside and not get hot, especially not get migraines, I also really want my plants to survive. It really isn't fair to plant them and then neglect them.

But I know myself well enough to believe that the Acquarius image just might help! It doesn't hurt to have fun in the process of being disciplined, does it?


Carisse said...

Get a parakeet, like I did, who will wake you up at dawn. It is still cool enough (well, not cool, but not hot) to water at sunrise. Plus, it's good for the plants to have the chance for their foliage to dry off in the day's warmth.

having said that, I will admit that what kept me indoors in Memphis, besides the suffocating heat, was the mosquitoes! I hated them, and I hated wearing mosquito dope.

Of course if you go out, spray yourself, water and weed, then you can come in and shower, and it's only 8. Plenty of time to get to work at 9.

Last year I didn't have parakeets and I didn't wake up. My garden did not do as well, and neither did I.

This year my parakeets wake me up at 6:30 and most days I go out to water, check on things, and pull a few weeds. I have been really surprised at how much i can accomplish if I work 25 minutes a day for four or five days.

Sheila said...

Now that is probably the only time in my life someone will recommend parakeets as a gardening aid!

Yes, it is mosquitoes, too, and I also don't like putting chemicals on my body to stop them.

(I've had the idea of carrying ice packs in my pockets for the heat, too. I'm determined to make this work, somehow!)

Lucy said...

I think a toga and a big floppy hat would be most fetching...

Gioietta said...

Let me know when you go out wearing your toga to water the plants!

Sheila said...

Well no toga yet, nor parakeets, but my flowers are still alive! This despite even a vicous squirrel attack yesterday. Had to reset and pack down several impatiens....aggghhh....but they've only fatally wounded three so far this planting. I'm thinking of making a little Viking ship for them and little helmets with horns. Little invading marauders.