The garden is an overgrown tangle. Half the tomatoes sprawl un-staked on the ground with some of their fruit nibbled on by slugs and chipmunks. Powdery mildew is rampant on the summer squash and cucumber plants. The grass is tall and the edges and details are even shaggier since the push mower stopped working and I have yet to make an accurate diagnosis.
There are seven-foot-high sunflowers with weeds between their toes, bug-eaten leaves on the amaranth, zinnias past their prime, basil that is going to seed. The space left empty after harvesting the garlic has weeds encroaching and the pathways barely have any mulch showing through the crabgrass and dandelions. There are large flat insects eating the beans. I haven’t watered.
But I love it. I love it all. I love the chaos and generosity of it. I love the tall grass. I don’t care that the asparagus ferns are flopped over in an ungainly slump — they’re thriving. The whole garden is.
And the part of me that is a wild curious child is thriving too. I’m ignoring the voice of the inner perfectionist who wants me to look at the garden only with a corrective eye, counting off the problems that need fixing. Instead I’m looking with my child eyes. Seeing the garden as its true self — messy, generous, creative and unleashed. My Eden. Ungainly and glorious.