Friday, June 12, 2015


I'm a gardener.

Sometimes I am at war with my garden. Not with the plants necessarily, but with what the garden brings out in me. This week, on top of 100+ degree weather, I have been battling the snails that have taken over with abandon.

If there is an afterlife, I know that I will be there surrounded by all the snails that I have mushed, smashed, thrown, crushed, broken, splintered, kicked, and salted.

Quick sketch of a snail. They move so slowly, but they don't stay in one position for long.

This is my ode to snails:

Snails devouring a bush
A five-foot tall bush, mind you
Their shells hanging from every branch
In clusters like brown flowers
Ready to open.

I'm murderous
Plucking off each one, hundreds of ones,
I feel their shells soft between my fingers.
I know I could crush them or throw
Them against the wall.
Instead I watch, hideously,
As they bubble in the salt pools
I lay down for them.

My apologies to you, snails,
For my torturous ways.
You just overpowered 
My will to be kind.
You outnumbered me a thousand to one.
What was I supposed to do?
My poor plant was crying out for help.

If the weather turns cooler, and the snail season abates (with a little help from SLUGGO), I am sure that my normal, cool, calm self will return so that I can once more enjoy the fruits of my garden labors without my murderous side bubbling to the surface.

But have you ever seen a banana slug?


  1. Dear Martha,
    As I was sitting on my front stoop dead-heading violas in a vain attempt to help the plants last just a little longer in this not-yet-summer-but-sweltering heat, I thought, "Hey, it's Friday and... I should be getting a post from Martha. Now, that is something to look forward to." So, I took my glass of Fumé Blanc (which needed a refill) and my gardening shears and went inside to the blessed air-conditioning. Yay! An apropos post was there. PA gardening is quite different from CA gardening - no snails or slugs - but still challenging - ugh aphids! I remember when I lived in California feeling guilty about ridding my San Diego garden of just some of those 280 species of snails and slugs. Funny memories! Thanks Martha - you made my Friday evening!

  2. Thank you, Sara. Aphids abound out here too. I think I should join you for a glass of Fume Blanc. That sounds like a delicious way to garden!


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