I equate having a garden as being a bit like having kids (albeit this analogy is from someone that has no kids, so you might want to factor that in).
I imagine what it will grow up to be like long before it is ever conceived. I wait anxiously for the first signs of life to pop up in the spring, fussing over the sprouts – trying to give them everything they need for a bright future.
Summer arrives bringing warmer temperatures and the veggies launch into a major growing spurt, growing like weeds (the weeds subsequently also grow like, well… weeds) and needing less careful monitoring.
By this time each year, the latter part of July into August, the garden is like a teenager – on the brink of being completely out of control. No longer are the rows neat and tidy. They are shaggy and overgrown and unkept. A little wild. Basically running amuck.
But we have a good relationship. I still give it what it needs for basic survival with a little guidance here and there and in turn I enjoy the fruits (or in this case, veggies) of my love and attention.
And sometimes it drives me to drink (ok….maybe that’s not exactly true. It’s more that gardening is just more fun with a glass of wine. Of course, perhaps so is parenting.) but I’m still proud of it… I can’t fault it for being the exact overachiever I dreamed it would be.
And I think that’s pretty much where this analogy ends… unless of course you stuff your kids in the compost bin come fall.