April 30, 2006

Thoughts of the garden variety

I do not possess a green thumb.

Gardening is one of those things that I've always wanted to be good at. There is something beautiful and poetic about putting something in the earth and watching it grow.

Last summer, like every summer since I've lived in this house, went something like this:

April: Oooh, I should plant a garden this year.

May: Yay, it's nice out! I'm going to plant petunias and rose bushes and strawberries and chili peppers and string beans and basil and cilantro. I will eat fresh fruits and vegetables from my garden, I will lose weight, and I will be blissfully happy. [dig, dig, dig, plant, plant, plant, water]

June: Hey, look, things are growing! Is that a string bean? Hmm, I wonder where the rest of them are. What the hell am I going to do with one string bean? Oh well, at least I grew it.

July: Crap, summer school. By the time I get home, it's dark out. Too tired to water. As R.E.M. put it, "Gardening at night has never worked." Everything looks a little wilted. Must be the heat. Maybe I'll wake up super early and water the garden before work.

August: Well, screw you for not being able to survive without me. Now I see why they call you pansies. At least I still have my basil... eeew, what are those bugs? I don't want those anywhere near my pizza. I'd pick some oregano instead, but I can't distinguish it from the weeds. What happened to my peppers? Ah, forget it, this is too depressing. I'm going inside and calling Pizza Hut.

Well, this year will be different.

It has started off in a promising way.

Last fall, after I angrily dug up the remnants of my neglected garden, I took a leap of faith.

I purchased a large assorted bag of flower bulbs from Holland. I didn't even know what half of them were, but I planted them.

I had forgotten about them until the crocuses came up in March.

They were tough little guys, surviving cold nights and unexpected April snowfalls.

I could learn something from the crocuses.

Not long after, the irises appeared.

I was blown away. Nothing so beautiful had come out of my yard.

As the weather got warmer, more flowers began to show up. I don't even know what these are called:

... and yet they grew anyway.

I found a host of lovely daffoldils.

I cut some of them and brought them to my coworkers, little bits of sunshine to brighten their days.

I heard people around the office saying, "Monica has nice flowers in her garden." I no longer felt inept. My thumb felt greener.

Yesterday, the world's cutest tulip opened, in my very own yard.

It was downright inspirational.

This was the first glorious weekend of spring in Reno.

Spring is full of possibilities.

It contains the possibility that, this year, I will be a successful gardener.

This is the year I will grow things. This is the year I will be accountable to my flowers.

I can't help but think of The Little Prince. It was the first book I read entirely in French.

On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux. C'est le temps que j'ai perdu pour ma rose qui fait ma rose si importante.

I spent the last two days digging, planting, watering, weed-pulling, weed-whacking, and fertilizing.

I got a sunburn.

I have dirt in my hair.

My legs hurt.

I'm blissfully happy.

Happy spring, everyone.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. It is the time I have wasted for my flower that makes my flower so important." - The Little Prince

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