March 15, 2013


Step 1.  Prepare the Soil

This is done by turning it over, much the same way your Great Aunt Fudd turns over your Great Uncle Fudd to get him to knock off the snoring.  Next, you must break up the clods to that the soil is a more consistent texture—calling for an action similar to the punches Great Uncle Fudd receives in both eyes when he rolls over and tells Great Aunt Fudd to get stuffed. 

Step 2.  Fertilize the Soil

Do this by first stopping in at the nearest nursery, relinquishing your wallet, signing a promissory note against your soul, and then loading up your car with bag after bag of the same product you could get for free if you stood out in a cow pasture long enough.  (Remember, I never said any of this made sense – especially since I’ve yet to see even one flower growing in a cow pasture.)

Next, you go home and, using a rake, a hoe, and other implements of destruction; you work the truckload of manure that you just spend all your children’s college money on, into the flowerbed soil.  You will accomplish two things by doing this.  First, you will have wonderfully fertile soil.  Second, the god-awful smell will keep the Jehovah’s Witnesses away for most of the summer . . . also anyone else who inhales.  Your garden will be perfect – there just won’t be anyone but you and the swarming colony of flies to appreciate it. 

Step 3.  Plant your seedlings

Starting your plants indoors in February and raising your own seedlings will fill you with pride and give you a special feeling of accomplishment.  By the time they are large enough to plant in your flowerbeds, you will have come to regard them as your children.  And, since it is a well-known fact that talking to your plants improves their health, you are encouraged to do so.  If you are unsure of what to talk about, try to find subjects that might be of interest to them.  Have a discussion about sewing with a cactus.  Try a debate about the situation in the Middle East with a Wandering Jew.  Or how about a rousing conversation about the FBI with your Virginia Creeper?  After a while, it will become second nature to you, and with any luck at all, you may actually stay out of the lunatic asylum long enough to see them all bloom!

Mr. F. Dostoyevsky, of Pottsylvania, felt so fatherly toward his prize geraniums that he went so far as to fashion tiny outfits for them.  However, being a rather depressed personage who had no access to Prozac at the time, he dressed them all in black.  Since they were a deep red variety, when the geraniums bloomed, his front flowerbed took on the somewhat appalling aspect of a group of Lilliputian, recently beheaded mourners.  He was summarily arrested and charged with unnecessary strangeness and intent to attract the attention of the National Enquirer.  These offenses carried the stiff penalty of having to read six Tolstoy novels right in a row, without stopping.  Three days later, Mr. Dostoyevsky committed suicide.

There is such a thing as getting too involved with your plants. 

Step 4.  Garden pests and how to deal with them

Okay.  You’ve rid yourself of the bothersome human factor that would spoil your newly planted garden.  Now you’ll have to deal with the pests.  No, no!  I’m not talking about your Great Aunt Fudd!  I’m talking about pests with six legs!


No wonder she spends so much on shoes.

Actually, I’m referring to insect-type pests, and I don’t want to hear any mother-in-law jokes.

To continue.  The best thing to use to discourage insects is insecticide.  If killing the little fuckers doesn’t discourage them, I don’t know what will.

Some environmentally-conscious folks take issue with the use of chemicals to off one’s aphids.  They prefer a more natural, environmentally responsible way of eliminating insects.

They eat them.

These are the same people who make ant sandwiches, then go on a picnic, thereby saving oodles of time.

Once your plants are established, you may have to deal with larger pests, such as rabbits and deer and that weird little kid down the block.  To repel rabbits and deer, I recommend sprinkling a little dried blood at the edges of your flowerbeds.  You can get this from the weird little kid down the block immediately after you remove him from the microwave. 

Step 5.  Watering

Next, we must choose the best time of day to water the seedlings.  I opt for first thing in the morning; my cousin swears by early evening; and my dog will water them anytime no one is looking.

In conclusion, just let me point out that gardening should be relaxing.  If your neighbor is also a gardener, it can be fun to engage in a friendly competition.  For instance, who gets the first bloom, who has the most interesting color scheme, who has the most creative design, etc.  If you begin to fall behind your neighbor, don’t get grumpy; use it as a opportunity to learn from him or her…how to correctly fertilize the soil in your area, how to maximize a small space, how to fill his watering can with gasoline, how to landscape his flowerbed with a burning log…

After all, the best way to learn effective watering is from the pros – the fire department!



  1. I will never be able to think about having a garden again after this. The temptation and ideas are just too GOOD to pass up on. Thanks.

  2. So funny, Carson. Now, after all these years and meetings with Master Gardeners, I finally know how to grow a beautiful garden. I can hardly wait until August to see the results.

  3. Funny stuff. Thank goodness we just moved to a townhouse. And I too saw where Frank Thornton died :(
    Was rasied on AYBS.