Keeping the devil at bay

I’ve always had a green thumb. There are few things I enjoy more than making things grow, and today it feels especially important. I’m surrounded by this ju-ju of death, and I need to see things coming to life.

I started my day very early talking with my brother’s doctor in Mass. Not good news. But some treatments are scheduled here, and we’ll just have to see.

So today, I transplanted 41 columbine starts from their cramped up little seedling homes into individual slots. This is a major victory. I’ve never had any success starting them before. They were far too small to move, but I was very gentle, and tonight they look like they’re all going to make it. I was afraid to leave them any longer because they were in the wrong kind of “pot” (egg cartons). I think I was so sure they wouldn’t sprout that I handicapped them. But Ben managed to keep them damp while I was gone, and tonight they look great.

I also planted cukes, four kinds of squash, and cantaloupe (hope springs eternal here with our short heat season). It seems dumb when you can buy bedding plants for so little money, but I can never find the varieties that I really want.

It’s still too wet to till. It rained all day. So I’m working up little areas at the edges by hand to get in some of the salad and cold weather stuff early. Tomorrow I may run in to one or two nurseries and see what they’ve got. I need some distraction right now.

There’s a big black cloud on the horizon, so I’m keeping very busy. I’m reminded of a Naomi Shihab Nye poem titled “The Rider.” She is out on her bicycle when she meets a boy on skates who tells her that if he skates fast enough, he can leave loneliness behind. She wonders if it works on a bicycle.

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5 Responses to “Keeping the devil at bay”

  1. OmbudsBen Says:

    Glad to hear about your columbine starts, and hope you enjoy a lot of success with the garden. Good luck with the cantaloup, too (sounds good).

    We fended off the snails so far, and it looks like we’ll have some nice irises soon. The calla lilies are blossoming throughout the unkempt portions of our yard.

    Best wishes for your brother.

  2. mklekacz Says:

    Ben, I really love cantaloupe, but only when it’s really ripe, something tht doesn’t often happen with the storebought stuff. Ditto watermelon. So I will try both of these one more time despite our resolution to only grow what we can be successful with. Maybe global warming will help me out. . .

  3. mklekacz Says:

    PS–I envy you your callas. I’d love to grow both those and the bright calla lilies as well. But I think I’m going to have to lay waste to the gopher first. I’m able to grow stargazers only because I planted them inside a big deep plastic basket.

  4. whitishrabbit Says:

    I like that… growing things in response to the death all over the paper and the newspaper. A quiet, certain way to sing back the dark.

  5. mklekacz Says:

    Rabbit, I suppose that’s my own (and probably only) testament to some sort of optimism. When I plant trees that I know I won’t live to see mature, I imagine some anthropologist coming through 100 years from now saking, “Now how did a [pick your favorite non-native tree] get here?”

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