Oddments

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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.