Oddments

In search of story


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July 14.22: Coping, but barely

Does a garden laugh?

Yes. That’s what I think.

What could else explain

this impertinence of pink?

No sooner had I written of

snapdragons’ ruffled white

than this haughty pale bubblegum

erupted into sight.

Did I plant this nonconformist,

this blushing heliophile?

No. It planted its own self,

chuckling all the while.

Its merriment unbridled

in my gardener’s flabbergast,

it reveled in its message:

it’s the garden that laughs last.

 

 


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June 24.22: Coping, but barely

The seed speaks

in snowy mound

pledge and mandate:

life is round.

In revolution

measured, steady,

resurrection

at the ready,

turning, turning,

seed to seed,

to shade, to soothe,

to thrill, to feed.

In cycles spoked

by dark and light,

gardener’s sure

gem├╝tlichkeit.

 

You may recall, dear reader, the tiny green shoots I spotted in the gravel — in the gravel! — my first summer here. Snapdragons? I so carefully dug them up and transplanted them. And now their descendants bloom like a petticoat ruffle, smugly cautioning me never ever to underestimate life.

 


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August 5.20: Coping

A GARDEN STORY

Once upon a November, I bought this house. When a gardener buys a house in November, she has a whole winter to wonder what someone else’s garden will bring. As it came to life, I wondered less and pulled more. Out, out, rude roots! After the chaos of resettling, I happily yanked and snipped. Instant gratification. The gardener’s high.

In the throes of this euphoria, I approached a small shaded gravel patch where nothing should have been able to grow, but no one had told the weeds. Then I stopped and stared in a gardener’s disbelief. Four small stems with happy little leaves looked familiar. Snapdragons? Could it be? Snapdragons sprouting in these sunless stones? Tenderly, I eased them up and out, such little things, but so green. I transplanted them into the garden and coddled them neurotically. They grew plump with leaves and buds. They were the shortest snapdragons I’d ever seen, and they bloomed white! I am a fool for white flowers! Oh, what a gardener’s jig I danced!

And, oh, what a harvest of snapdragon seeds followed! And now, two garden seasons later, I have low-lying clouds of white snapdragons, snuggling with parsley, lighting the front-door thyme, wreathing the bay. Even though I have not been able to plant my back yard garden this year, the white snapdragons assure me that beauty will be had, and that I should always look twice at the gravel.