- to busy or occupy oneself in a leisurely, casual, or ineffective manner: to putter in the garden.
- to move or go in a specified manner with ineffective action or little energy or purpose: to putter about the houseon a rainy day.
- to move or go slowly or aimlessly; loiter.
Some of us don’t have time to putter in the complete sense of the word – too much to do! In order to get all our puttering done in time to get to work, we have to charge at the task with all the energy of a 4AM call from a drill sergeant.
A typical morning putter goes something like this:
- 6:45 AM – grab gear and first water source, a gallon milk jug with fertilizer
- 6:45 AM – grab coffee cup; juggle cane, jug, coffee cup, set down coffee cup and immediately forget where
- 6:46 AM – open patio door soundlessly so as not to wake husband or cats (who would escape) (cats, not husband)
- 6:46 AM – water topsy turvy tomato; look for tomatoes (hah!); glare at bunny bait soon to be compost
- 6:47 AM – close patio doors quietly; water starting mason jar potatoes and garlics; spray tops and sumac
- 6:48 AM – grab second water source, one quart juice bottles, make mental note to throw out bottle with broken handle
- 6:48 AM – water bonsai in kitchen, bonsai on nook table, last remaining indoor tomato seedlings now bigger than cat
- 6:50 AM – grab third water source, one quart juice bottle with Miracle Gro
- 6:51 AM – check water in fireplace room plants; water sparingly
- 6:52 AM – open small garage door; wince at high pitched squeal
- 6:52 AM – water starter pot of ginger plant; kick spiders out door while not screaming. Oh wait, that’s a beetle.
- 6:53 AM – grab fourth water source, two big DeliCat cat food jugs
- 6:54 AM – check on lone stray squash plant in Bunny Buffet Field; water if it still has more than two leaves
- 6:55 AM – water tomato, tomato, cauliflower, potato on front porch
- 6:55 AM – wave ‘hi’ to Echevieria Shaviana and Cousin Bob
- 6:56 AM – refill DeliCat jugs in garage sink; drench left leg, swear under breath
- 6:57 AM – walk down and water two rose bushes; consider inventing thornless rose or thorn-proof housecoat
- 6:58 AM – refill DeliCat jugs and place on front porch; make mental note to throw out leaky DeliCat jug and invest in -decent- watering cans
- 7:00 AM – grab fifth and final water source(s), three juice jugs and spray bottle
(the following steps are performed under the careful supervision of two cats)
- 7:01 AM – water yellow squash – one full quart. It will have drunk all the water from last night and produced two more leaves the size of your old VW bug.
- 7:03 AM – stare at cardboard palm peat pots; wonder yet again why they haven’t sprouted
- 7:03 AM – water tamarind #1, water tamarind #2
- 7:04 AM – water spinach, spinach, jalapeno and green onions, putter around for 30 seconds while wondering where the other green onion pot is
- 7:06 AM – consider watering orange mint if you could see the pot but with all that mint, who knows where it is
- 7:08 AM – carefully remove wilted squash blossoms, broken leaves; swear at nearest cat (who is blameless)
- 7:10 AM – try to find coffee cup
And that, dear reader, is how you putter in the garden at break-neck speed for maximum results.
Just think how relaxing it’ll be when we finally add on the space to the north of the shed at the bottom of the hill…