Well, once more the gardening season is upon us. For my friends who are not gardeners, here is a short glossary of terms you may hear the gardeners in your family use from time to time.
As with anything to do with gardening, local terms may vary.
Cold Frame: A wooden box with a glass roof for the kids to aim at.
Dead heading: What the slugs do after they find the beer.
Seed catalog. Planted in your mailbox, flowers in late winter.
Mulch: Pieces of dead plants put on live plants as encouragement.
Hybrid: What you say to the crow that just ate your tomatoes.
Growing zones: The frustration levels of gardeners in different areas of the country.
Compost Pile: A circle of snow fence into which you put your food scraps for the deer and rabbits to eat when the garden isn’t growing.
Deer Fence: A gardener’s slang term meaning a project involving significant work with minimal results. eg: “My husband’s buying that boat was a real deer fence move.”
Rabbit fence: Chicken wire which is buried in the ground to rust.
Razed beds: What the deer and rabbits leave.
Rototiller: A really heavy and noisy machine with spinning blades extremely close to your toes.
Hoe: What your wife says when the rototiller snags the deer fence. Often used more than once and occasionally with expletives. eg: “hoe, hoe, hoe, for ******’s sake!”.
Crop rotation: What the rototiller did just before snagging the deer fence.
Last frost: The look given while you fix the deer fence, replace the plants, and untangle the rabbit fence from the rototiller.
Satisfied Gardner: Oxymoron.
Tobey Leske is married to a Nantucket gardener.