April 30, 2008 5:05 P.M. Weight: 357.5 lbs.
I think some people enjoy gardening itself. They like the activity of digging and planting, they find it relaxing and rewarding in itself. I have a neighbor like that: when I first moved here, she asked (knowing that I worked and wasn’t fond of gardening) if I would like her to take care of my small front garden when she did her own.
Now, tinged with guilt on seeing her mow the lawn while I am sitting reading a book, I have since asked her if I should take back the care of that garden, only to be told ‘If you really want to, but I so enjoy doing it!’.
I don’t get that kind of pleasure out of gardening. When I am out in my rear garden, I curse and swear at every shovel of earth I move, at every blade of grass I cut, at every job I know needs doing that I haven’t got time for.
On the other hand, I do like making plans and I do quite like seeing the finished article, and knowing it is my work. As such, I would say that I like gardening as much as I like decorating – which is not a lot, until it is all done.
Then of course, there is the exercise involved – which I do appreciate, but cannot say I enjoy.
Flowers and shrubs do absolutely nothing for me, but as I love cooking, the idea of growing my own fruit and vegetables does interest me. So by switching my garden’s aim to that purpose, it gives me more incentive to do something.
(And yes, I know sunflowers *are* flowers, but it’s a bit of a “guy” thing to see how tall you can grow them, no? And you can always harvest the seeds for sunflower bread!)
On the subject of training the pear tree, the technique is called espalier, which I think is more common with apples than pears, but works well with many fruits. The picture below is one I found on the internet to illustrate this. When I have a moment, I will replace it with a picture of my own tree.