NOTE – THIS WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN APRIL, 2009 WHEN I WAS WRITING A “GARDEN FOR ALL” COLUMN FOR THE WEST SEATTLE HERALD. TAX SEASON ALWAYS BRINGS IT TO MIND…
A Garden For All: Garden Taxes
This recent tax season spurred on yet another garden analogy from Yours Truly. I realized, as gardeners, that we already pay taxes in our own way. I wonder if this could fly with the IRS?
Here’s what I have redefined for us gardeners so far:
Gardener Tax Filing Status – [Instead of "Single, Married, etc."] Choose one only – and you know who you are.
1. New Gardener
2. Not so new gardener & should know better
3. Really knows better
Plant Sales Tax – You know those plant sales where you overbuy, or buy on impulse? Ya, you know what I mean. There were some plants that were definitely on your list, and you bought them for a particular spot – those usually go into the ground first. And there are the plants that you fell in love with at first sight, bought on impulse, and will “find a spot for it later.” It is some of this later group that invariably perish and die, either through hesitation, or unintentional neglect. These dead plants are the plant sales tax that we pay throughout the year.
Garden Income Tax – You are very well acquainted with this one and you don’t even know it. This could easily be broken down into several sub-categories: Squirrel Tax, Mole Tax, Snail & Slug Tax, Aphid Tax… whatever you’d like to call it. We’ve had to give up portions our trees, plants, flowers and lawns ever since we started gardening. I’ll never forget that day last summer when I saw Squirrel scamper away with my first fig from my new baby fig tree! Oh, the horror! Boy, I was really taxed then! ;o)
Adjusted Garden Income – When you rescue that giant Zucchini from Squirrel, and just cut off the couple of bite marks at the end, the portion that is cut off should be subtracted from your garden income total.
Shoulda Use Tax – This tax could be called the “I Shoulda Tax” but the government would probably change the slang into something boring. Use Tax in the gardening world applies to that gaping hole in the middle of your perennial plant. A number of plants die in the middle if they don’t get divided in time. Normally it’s the chore that we put off because we like the looks and the rewards of a well-established perennial – only to discover a few weeks later that we should have divided it last spring. Ground cover Thymes are good examples.
[In]Corporate Tax – When you give up some of your perennial bed for a vegetable bed.
Excise Exercise Tax – Bending the excise tax a bit: After those long spring days in the garden when your body isn’t used to the bending and hauling… ugh! We should get a break on Epsom salt and bubble bath.
Garden Plot-erty Tax – The part of the garden we had to give up for a new extension on the house, a bigger deck, etc.
Hopeless Investment Tax – Those wonderful flower bulbs we sink into the ground only to have Squirrel dig them up for his dinner. Or, in our Seattle climate, the bulbs that never come back because they rotted through the wet winter.
Got a garden tax to share? Leave it in the comments below. And someone call the IRS – maybe we gardeners can get a better tax break next year.