It’s Labor Day weekend – a time tailor-made for beaches, barbecues, parades, and speeches. But on this particular holiday, I’m staring at the remains of a small, neighborhood garden center on Long Island.
I’m not sure exactly what happened here. Did the owner retire, unable to sell the business? Did some sort of illness interfere? Was the small nursery unable to compete against the box stores that sprout like weeds? Or perhaps, this nursery is just another victim of an economy that has failed to thrive?
It’s amazing how quickly the weeds and wildflowers have turned this once manicured plot into an overgrown prairie. Slowly, however, it gives up its secrets.
The shelves where pots of perennials were once displayed.
Tables once held flats of impatiens, petunias, and a rainbow of assorted annuals.
Pots, nearly hidden by the towering weeds, are now homes to those weeds.
Some pots, though, would rather hold onto the skeletons of their occupants.
The front bed is a hodgepodge of fleshy weeds and flowering vines and litter.
The manicured plantings, the ones selected with care, still manage to bloom.
The whispers of gardening questions and shared planting tips linger around the side yard, just beside the rack that held hanging baskets of geraniums and million bells petunias.
Today, though, those conversations are nearly drowned out by the the insect chirps and buzzes coming from the tall weeds — proof that nature continues to go about its business, despite the story told here.
This Labor Day, in between the parades and barbecues, remember to celebrate labor by purchasing something from a local business.
Enjoy the holiday, everyone.