Choose Your Own Adventure: Starting a Garden

Passage 1

Congratulations on your decision to become a person who has a garden! Everybody loves this sort of person. Unfortunately, now you have to start a garden. Where are you going to put it?

a) On the balcony of your third-floor apartment. Go to Passage 2.

b) In your back yard (i.e., the six-by-nine-foot plot of dead grass that is—as recently revealed by the melted snow—littered with
fossilized dog turds). Go to Passage 3.

Passage 2

It’s not a balcony, you fool. It’s a fire escape. This is a serious safety violation.

a) Try again. Return to Passage 1.

b) You abide by no law. Choose to plant it on the fire escape anyway.
Go to Passage 3.

Passage 3

What will you grow?

a) You can’t remember the last time your partner bought you flowers, so you may as well start growing them for yourself. Go to Passage 4.

b) You live for a garnish. Herbs, it is. Go to Passage 5.

c) You’re more afraid of pesticides than of failure. Get started on that vegetable garden. Go to Passage 6.

Passage 4

What with all the flowers, you’ve now got a bee problem. Except you can’t even call it a “problem” because they’re going extinct, or whatever. How do you handle this?

a) You read that bees can’t stand neem, mint, or cloves, so you squeeze in an herb garden. Go to Passage 5.

b) What the hell else can you do?! Extermination is not an option. You’re not a monster; you’re a gardener. You’re also a beekeeper now. Go to Passage 5.

Passage 5

Oops! You’ve accidentally planted nepeta, a.k.a. catnip. This becomes clear as cats begin to congregate on your fire escape. They’ve scratched the screen right out of your window. They’re high. They’re mating. What now?

a) You don’t want them to have too much catnip on an empty stomach, so you start leaving out milk and tuna. An odor grows. Go to Passage 6.

b) You consult the Internet for a list of things that cats hate (being surprised by cucumbers, sustained eye-contact, those who love them the most, et cetera). Ultimately, you settle on cayenne and decide to mulch with the stuff. Go to Passage 7.

Passage 6

You watch as, little by little, seeds sprout into seedlings, growing bigger and bigger with each passing day. You rise with the sun and gaze out the window, marvelling at your godlike work. And it was good! Until, that is, you awake to a barren hellscape of empty holes just one week before you’re supposed to throw a “garden party”—its sole purpose to show off how fucking nurturing and patient you are. This leaves you no choice but to buy a bunch of discounted, half-dead plants, throw them in the ground, and pray for a miracle. How do you prevent this disaster from happening again?

a) You suspect squirrels, so you place a wreath of peanuts on the fire escape in the hope that they’ll eat it and leave your plants alone. Go to Passage 7.

b) You set up a wildlife cam to keep watch. Go to Passage 8.

Passage 7

Uh-oh! You opened the window and forgot to close it. The squirrels have infiltrated your apartment and ransacked the place. What the hell?

a) Repairing the screen is futile, never mind expensive. You bring one of the stray cats inside for security and name her Oregano. Go to Passage 8.

b) You’re Mother Nature’s bitch. Surrender yourself. Go to Passage 10.

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