Here I go again:  I’ve done some gardening.

I often have patients who repeatedly return to their same bad relationships, along the lyrical line “I’d rather be blue thinking of you than be happy with somebody else”.  I am no different in my dynamic when it comes to growing things in Arizona.  Newer Spo-fans may not know I am – was? – an avid gardener. When I lived in Michigan (zone 6) nothing was more euphoric than growing things, especially vegetables. This hobby came to a horrible halt when I moved to Arizona.  My favorites could not endure the ardent sun and temperatures of the southwest, a toasty zone 10.  Taking the advice ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ I grew succulents and cacti. These are pleasant but didn’t provide the same satisfaction as homegrown flowers and vegetables.  Container gardening is the answer – provided one keeps on top of the watering.  In the heat of summer (highs near 50C) these suckers need lots of watering sometimes 2x a day.  After a few years of the game score ‘Sun 5; Spo 0’, I gave up. Until now.  With Brother #4 et. al. coming to town I wanted to spruce up the back porch, so I went to Home Depot for some fresh cacti but I came home with were pots of herbs and pepper plants and annuals – vowing once again to ‘keep on top of things’.

Oh the pain.

With its planted pots of rosemary, basil, and pepper plants, the back porch looks very nice, thank you very much. I used to order fancy heirloom seeds (I miss them!) but I’ve learned if something has a chance to thrive it is best to get planted locally developed for xeriscaping. I have made a blood oath before the gods of gardening to keep these suckers alive.  Someone has seen this over and over and is tactful to not to quote ‘Moonstuck’  “You did this once before Loretta, and it didn’t work out!”

I keep a checklist of to-do items I want to do on a daily basis and every night I check them off to ascertain I have done them. This works well, so I added ‘Water the plants’, which, fingers crossed, will keep things alive so by the time autumn arrives I may have some homegrown chilies. Let us hope so.

Last December I tossed some old mint leaves for into the potted palm tree for compost. During the tidy- up that was last weekend, I discovered mint has taken over the pot, enough to make a mess of mojitos.  This cheeky herb grew like gangbusters when I wasn’t paying attention. There is some irony to that, no?