We’ve been busy in our garden. Molly helped me yank the fence out, pulling and tearing at the wire gauge buried in the earth for more than a decade. For a few years, it actually worked – keeping critters away from lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes. Eventually a greedy groundhog boldly moved in, digging his doorway smack into the middle of my sunny patch. He spared my leeks, asparagus and an unruly horseradish plant neither of us were much interested in eating – but that’s it. For the past few years, I’ve abandoned the space to him, letting the patch grow wild with mint, weeds and the odd volunteer Maple tree.
Taking down the fence entailed cutting away insidious vines woven through the links dense as a basket. Molly attacked the job ferociously, snipping away at metal and yanking the hairy roots out of the ground until triumphantly pulling the wire completely away from the earth. Our plan is to clear this sunny place so perfect for growing things and planting fruit trees. Peaches. We want to have our own peaches to pluck from the trees. And maybe an apple tree or two.
For years, my stubborn determination to reclaim my vegetable garden, trying (organic) remedies to keep the old creature at bay, failed again and again. Despondent, I ignored this slice of precious acreage allowing ground cover and ivy to grow thick as branches. I can rarely resist a life metaphor when working in my garden and surely there are plenty here. No longer just surrendering to the bastard groundhog but letting go of the notion of what this plot of land should be and thinking more about what it can become. Clearing it away felt a Herculean job but was necessary to do – and how sweet to have my girl beside me in the task. I would not have managed as well alone — sometimes dreams become more accessible when shared.
How much easier it will be to take care of this reclaimed space, how lovely it feels without the ugly and long-useless fence. And how delicious our own peaches will be — as long as that groundhog can’t climb trees.