Plant Vultures

You would think in a climate that only really gets three decent months of growing season, gardens wouldn’t really be a big deal. I think it’s a bigger deal because the days of living things and color are so short. Gardens become precious up here.

Gardens become children, sometimes making real children into labor to help nurture the green children. Neurotic gardeners like me are constant nurturers. We cheer at the first signs of life in the garden. We weep when fickle plants decide to kick the bucket. When long awaited flowers bloom or fruits appear on our carefully tended flora, we squeal with delight like parents who watch their children take their first steps.

Additionally, as sufferers of LCS, we are always on the lookout to adopt orphans. We scrounge every charity plant sale, eyeball ditches and abandoned lots, and keep our eyes and ears open when we visit friends and neighbors who have decided that maybe their green children are becoming too much of a nuisance to take care of. How convenient that we keep a miniature plant shed worth of equipment in the trunk of our cars, lest we be unprepared to start excavating someone’s neglected perennial bed at a moment’s notice.

Oh, we’ll patronize the greenhouses. Annuals and vegetables are sometimes just easier to buy already grown and usually worth the money. However with the perennials, unless it’s a coveted specimen, or we have a gift certificate, we’ll wait. We’ll hover like ruthless plant vultures, watching the sun bake all the aesthetics away. Then we’ll swoop in during the final clearance sales and scoop up the leggy, root-bound mutants that barely resemble the beauty queens they were introduced as just a month earlier.

Because we know. They may look like crap now, but we’ll fix that. We’ll give them a permanent home. We’ll make them neat and trim, and we will nurture and love them. Then next year, after the long monotony of winter has made us lonely and pining for sun and color, our green children will awaken reborn, hungry for attention, and ready to delight us with their existence.

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