Yesterday I spent a good amount of time thrashing around in my garden wishing the whole place looked more like one of those House Beautiful photos and much less like a jungle.

“Lush” would be the polite way to describe the place. 

“Going crazy” might be more accurate.

It’s the time of year when you can’t yet put down your pansies or your violas or move the dogwood trees that the city of Atlanta construction crews are threatening to murder with their upcoming three-year “let’s make a big mess of Northside Drive” sewer-sidewalk reconstruction project.

In the bid to start on water and sewer, the people who were never meant to be gardeners took machetes to my pink dogwoods, I kid you not.

I walked through the front garden after a fluorescent orange plastic fence had been strung across the front, connecting me with my equally unfortunate neighbors, and the dogwoods were yelling “help” but it’s still been too hot to dig them up and move them out of the way of so-called progress.

Even the errant Blackeyed Susan who had volunteered to venture off from the herd, blooming all by itself near my trashcans seemed to be yelling “Help Mom! What were we thinking by moving all the way over here!” 

So yesterday I did what I could do, which included pulling out weed after weed and thinning out the basil and beefsteak basil that was overrunning the place, cutting back the creeping Jenny and generally trying to restore order.

I took my pruning sheers to the roses and cut back the bee balm.

Soon enough, I could see the paths again.

I have never grown tomatoes from seed before. I had bought seven tomato cages at ACE hardware, thinking that tomatoes might want to be raised in an organized manner, but what do I know – you can’t even see the tomato cages anymore and there are so many cherry tomatoes that there are even some left over for me after the squirrels and the chipmunks have their share.

I peer down at my tomato jungle from my porch above and worry that when the Primrose Garden Club meets at my house Sept. 23 that the ladies who venture here might think I am slightly crazy just by driving up and seeing what’s going on with my tomatoes.

Nevertheless, I can always fall back on my orchids, which are my pride and joy and a great source of outright bragging, as only my friend Don Dennis, who makes flower essences from orchids, has better luck with the orchids than I do and he has an actual greenhouse. 

Of course, then again, I have had to put my ego in check every time I visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden. 

You really have to bow down on your knees when you see the orchid house over there! 

Thank God for my upcoming guests. You know you really have to clean up when company is coming.

Organic cornmeal is on order in bulk as my gardener Gabe Horrisberger, my partner in this adventure, had advised me that non-GMO cornmeal would put to rest the mold and fungus that wants to take over. 

Gabe and I do what we can, recognizing with all due humility that in fact we are actually not in charge, that something bigger and more impressive seems to be at hand in my garden.