So said Bryan Dodge at the conference in D.C. (Positive thinking was required later that day -- in 105 degrees we walked Alexandria, Virginia's Old City and Waterfront like it was spring.)
Mr. Dodge's comparison hit home -- gardening is a new addiction, and I'm not very good.
The petunias and marigolds in my yard are happy, but the taller plants hate their new digs. They stick out their tongues and die. Casualties include three Daylilies, two gorgeous Tiger lilies, and now the Black-Eyed Susan and her 10-15 blooms.
Black-eyed Susan was furious about being left in New Jersey last week in the heat, although she only missed one day of intense watering from my husband.
Last Saturday, Black-Eyed Susan bravely stuck out her one remaining Black-Eye amid her crispy brown stems, asking "How could you?" and passed on.
Meanwhile, tall weeds (mostly terrible creeping grass from the lawn) love the garden and remain vibrant green, jolly, and menacing during the heatwave. The weeds laugh as they crowd rhododendron bushes, the latter of whom sigh in disbelief that the gardener does not not snip these tall weeds daily.
"It's easy to be negative!" said Bryan Dodge in his Texas accent -- not a drawl, more like a fast and seasoned rodeo announcer.
"Isn't it hard to grow flowers?" he asked. Of course it's hard. You have to weed every day, you have to water, the flowers are finicky.
"Is it hard to grow weeds?" No! They will grow whether you want them to or not.
How easy it is to complain or wish "if only". For many years, I've had complaining down to a science. If only things were different at work or at home. Oh, to move to Cape May's Washington Street and live in a Victorian summer retreat (if only!). Inspiration would bloom every day. If only!
So how do we grow flowers and not weeds? All I know is that it is not easy.
One final word of advice from my aunt's husband: "Plant Black-Eyed Susan in the spring."