When it comes to someone else’s garden, the grass is always greener on the other side. It’s because you don’t have to tend to it, unless you’re a professional gardener. I’ve never been much of a gardener myself, even though I love going to the Chicago Botanic Garden. I’m more of a plant-a-seed-in-some-soil-and-maybe-water-it kind of person, and today, I finally managed to pinpoint the reason why. I’d volunteered to help clean up my aunt’s patio, which is really kind of small, kind of unused but there to look pretty when needed. So when I volunteered, I didn’t think too much of the task that was set before me.

Not exactly the best time to underestimate something, especially not after my aunt had described her patio as a ‘forest of little trees’.

There were weeds everywhere that sprang out of the gaps between the bricks, some the ‘little tree’ kind (tall, thin, easy to pull out), others the crawly-spider kind (stuck close to the ground, large spread, difficult to remove). I pulled and pulled until there were holes in the gardening gloves.

There were pests everywhere, from anthills to spiders to poison ivy. And mosquitoes! People say they only feed during dawn and dusk, but I was out at noon and still had blood sucked out of me. If it’s any sort of compensation, I did kill eleven of them. I think I should be awarded something in recognition of my service to humanity.

Between the weeds and pests, I finally did manage to de-weed everything and got my aunt to spray the anthills and poison ivy with pesticide (I didn’t know where she kept the killer chemicals and I was pretty sure she wouldn’t appreciate me lighting a controlled bonfire in her backyard). And all the while, I was thinking how great heaven would be when I finally got there, all weedless and pest-less. Like I said, someone else’s garden is always better than your own.


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