Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Thuggish Ruggish Spring

Dear _______,

It's been a while. I've been rocking the master gardener classes-- as if I needed continuing education for my addiction. I'll tell you how bad it has become. You know I'm one of those birds that gets up with the earliest, not to hunt worms, but slugs. This story happened a while ago, but it outlines the lengths I'll go to.

I'm always rearranging my garden plants. Short plants become tall plants and need to move to the back of the line. Red flowers are suddenly too gauche. That bed needs to be all blues and purples. So, one late winter morning I decided the pink camellia needed to move it's petalled rump. It was awfully close to taking over the fence, and my neighbors are not big on intruders. It was a little after four o'clock in the morning and pitch black, but all my energy hits me when I wake up. There's no time to waste on waiting for sunlight. I started digging her (the shrub, not the neighbor) up with a headlamp strapped to my forehead, and she was a mighty one. Huffing and puffing and some whispering curses.

My neighbor, not so mighty, was also awake and looking out her kitchen window in my direction. She looked disturbed. I started wondering if she believed I was burying a body and would phone the police. I'd say I was defending her from an intruder, which technically was true. The camellia was growing up to be a thug. I waved at her over the fence. She gave a slight wave back. If the police showed up, I was not digging that camellia up again. I also bought some flood lamps. She hasn't spoken to me since last winter, but she got a large dog several weeks after our wee hour rendezvous.

Present day, and I've given the camellia away. It's thriving in a friend's garden who sleeps through the night.  Of course, I've planted other specimens in its place. I may or may not become disenchanted with them some future morning. But this Spring, I've started my mornings a little later with the dawn and three cubic yards of compost to dig into the beds. I've also decided red isn't so bad. I'm also considering chickens, because pretending to be burying bodies isn't enough anymore and I would like to lure my neighbor back into good graces with fresh eggs. Or at least her dog.

Beware the dark diggers,

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