Not so long ago, between Covid 1.0 and Covid-Delta, I stopped in the garden center of a local box store. They have a TLC rack there. When I visit, it’s a lot like stepping up to a slot machine in a casino. You never know if you’ll get a winner.
I admit I have a hard time letting go of summer.
Even with leaves changing and falling and blooms fading and browning, I’m still reluctant to clean the beds and put them to rest. Even the weather is having a difficult time falling into a seasonal rhythm. There are days that are windy and evenings that are slightly frosty, and then there are the times when it feels mild and balmy.
So, with camera in hand, it’s last call in the garden, one last chance for flowers to bask in the spotlight before a hard frost takes them away.
“Hello, and welcome to Name That Garden. The rules are simple. I will post a photo or two or three of a garden, and you have to guess where that garden is located. Margo, tell us what the people are playing for?”
“Well, Nitty Gritty, they’re certainly not playing for a car. But they will be playing for the fun and surprise of it!”
“That’s swell, Margo. Now, are you ready to play, everyone? Here is our first photo.”
“If you guessed C, then you are correct. This display is part of a local gas station that is located on a heavy-traffic intersection. Not only is it great to see a business doing its best to make the neighborhood look nicer, the waterfall is a welcome distraction as you sit in your car waiting for the light to change.”
“If you’d like to continue playing, click the ‘Continue Reading’ link below.”
I have always been a sucker for the underdog. In the movies, I love the story where the weakling, the geek, the wallflower, the fill-in-the-blank, comes of age, achieves self-realization, and conquers against all odds. It’s like in the film Rudy, in which Daniel Ruettiger is told that he is too small to play football for the University of Notre Dame. Everyone has to root for the guy. That’s probably part of the reason I chose my profession, school social work. You really can’t ever give up. You just have to keep finding new ways to help, so that everyone can have their moment when they can be hoisted onto the team’s shoulders.
The same philosophy has followed me into the garden. As soon as seeds begin to sprout in the greenhouse or ground, the experts say it’s time to weed out any plants that are not keeping up. Huh??? Doesn’t everyone need a chance or two or three? Maybe some plants are slow growers. Maybe they need some extra time to reach their full potential. Maybe they could flourish with some differentiated propagation.
Believe me, I am no Mother Teresa of the yard. I have had my moments when I have lost it with a plant. Remind me to tell you about the sunflowers and the squirrels — definitely a Mommie Dearest moment. It’s just that there are times, many times, when I attribute human emotions to plants. Who wants to have a legacy of never bloomed?