Gardner’s most generally have dirty fingernails. This comes from their love and enjoyment in gardening. I too have dirty fingernails. Dirty, broken, and disgusting.
Spring has sprung and with it comes getting the garden ready for planting. And though I wear gloves, cute vinyl ones with colorful flowers on them, there are just some things that demand sticking your hands in the soil. I cringe every time I hear an avid gardener say how much they love getting their hands in the rich soil, planting and tending. They even go on to say how soothing it is. Well, not to me. I hate the dirt getting under my fingernails. I mutter as I pull each weed. I whisper incantations with each seed I plant. “Please, please come up out of the ground. If you will, I promise to water and feed you yummy fertilizer.”
I slather sun block on arms, neck, face, and usually in my eyes. I wear a floppy hat with a big rose on the front, hoping I’ll look stylish as I attempt to keep the sun off my face. Invariably, I end up visiting my dermatologist to have a suspicious looking spot removed because I forgot to do all the above procedures.
The Yorkies love gardening. Our husky loves gardening. Water that garden and two minutes later they are happily padding through the mud. They don’t mind it globbing under their nails or bringing it in the house to decorate the floors. They do mind being held under the faucet while I attempt to wash off their little feet. Have you heard that precious saying, YORKIES PUT PAW PRINTS ON YOUR HEART? Probably written by a gardener after watering. Yup.
Still I have to admit there is a thrill when the first potato plant pokes it head up out of the ground. And my mouth waters when the tomatoes ripen red and plump ready to pick and slice on a juicy BLT. sandwich. And I do beam like a proud mama when a neighbors accepts my offering of cucumbers and admits hers didn’t do well. Radishes do have a delightful snap and make my garden fresh salad come to life. And I modestly mumble, “Aw, it doesn’t take long,” when my garden smiles back weed free and my husband brags on me. I refrain from mentioning my aching back and the sunburn across the back of my neck.
Did I mention I also have a cucumber plant emerging from the hill? And my Walla Walla onion plants look like they’ll make it. I visited my local hardware store and came home with a great hoe and another pair of gloves. It’s the little things.
Oh, shoot, I guess dirty fingernails is a small price to pay for all the joy (and work) my garden brings. I’ll just give up on them for the next three to four months and paint my toe nails.