Thursday, August 09, 2007

The green fuse that drives the flower


My balcony garden is somehow a barometer to forecast what's going to happen next.

Every time I get depressed, a festoon of tomatoes will nudge me on the shoulder as I sit drinking and thinking on my balcony. "Hey man, things grow under you. You so green you'd make Al Gore seem a piker."

Yep, I talk to my plants. They talk to me.

A Shasta Daisy I named Blanche, one day shouted, "Avalanche!"
Yep, a daisy saved my life that day. :)

Lately, though the garden seems full of not altogether good portents.

Something is eating my beans. They have grown really fast, but there have been a number of windy days. The lower part of their stems gets stressed, they heel way over. A couple of these pod-type beans have died.

Had some not altogether good news from my family.


When one is in an emotional maze, sometimes one inflicts pain on oneself to sort of get out of the trap.
All sorts of shoes drop.
Your bank account shrivels.

You are starting to eye the supermarket dumpster again. Food banks will kill you dead.

Seems the gods have put the vegetables out in plastic bags today, so Ivan can window shop.
Broccoli a bit rotten, but the cabbage is still green, and onions are immortal.

Pain, embarrassment--anything to break the ribbon of darkness. You dumpster dive.

But a close look shows that today they have taken out all of the Gardening Centre. It is all there in the dumpster, dead vegetation now, but here and there still a little green shoot poking out of it's little square bit of turf. It is demanding,, "Plant me, mother...!"

I have a closer look. It is Victoria Blue, a border flower. Three of them still have leaves, though the summer heat has made those oval leaves brittle as glass now. They will fall down before you take the little plants home.

I take these little Salvia Farinacea plants with their little plugs and plant them right alongside my dying beans.

Three weeks go by. Nothing. All that's left of the Victoria Blue is shoots, black and bare.

...But today, lookee here...

Little green leaves all around the blackened shoots.

Ah, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

I was probably educated beyond my intellect at that very good English course.

But I think I'm starting to understand.

Plants really know.

And they somehow put themselves in the right place at the right time.

Victoria Blue is starting to beautify my garden.

The hint of winter has passed.


Ivan

17 comments:

H.E.Eigler said...

This was a lovely post, Ivan. Sorry about the bad family news.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thank you, Heather.

Your comment came in just after Blogger rejected an initial version of this blog. It kept resisting what I was putting in.

Somehow, you caught a glimpse of what was finally put up and your comment may have been the electronic tweak that set the printed blog right.

You do seem to have a touch. Save things.
Fellow gardener, I know.

Ivan

Josie said...

Ivan, you are so tender-hearted. You must read Cannery Row or Tortilla Flat. They are you.

I'm sorry you had bad family news. Keep your chin up. We all love you.

Cheers,
Josie

EA Monroe said...

I enjoyed your post, Ivan. You were in the right place at the right time to save Victoria Blue. Just goes to show when it looks like there's nothing, wahla, life appears.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,

Once I get it together to tie my shoelaces, I'll go to the library and get something by Steinbeck.
...I was put off some years ago by his "Winter or our Discontent", though heartened by an earlier work,
"To a God Unknown."
What may have put me off Steinbeck was having to take him in high school.

Yeah, aren't families beautiful?

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Liz,

Thank you.

Seems that in the Man vs Nature game, Nature seems to somehow win.
It seems to know better than poor us.

Ivan

Trevor Record said...

Too bad about the bad news. Garden reflects the state of your life? Hm, interesting metaphor. (The state of my bathroom is the metaphor of my life, so consider yourself lucky!)

Ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Tevor,

You too?

Landlady came in the other day, looked at the mess and said, "I can tell you're a bachelor!"

Little does she know that I've had more "wives" than John of Gaunt. They're just not around right now to clean up after me...I am, of course, in denial. They're never going to come around.
"Why you pr*ckface. After what you did!"
Keep hearing that.

Ivan

Shesawriter said...

Hugs, Ivan. Sorry for your bad news. :-( Hope you're doing well otherwise. Yeah, I know, long time no see. I needed a break from blogging because it was taking up too much of my writing time.

Tanya

ivan@creeativewriting.ca said...

Hi Tanya.

Welcome back.

I was wondering when your were going to change that "MY FAVOURITE
MUSICAL VIDEO" blog.
We'e still addicted to blogging over here...I don't seem to feel right unless I put up something every couple of days.
Don't know why we do it.
Schmoozing, I guess.

Take care,

Ivan

p.s.: Heh. Probably just a matter of time till Sela Carsen, another author, will be floating back this way. :)
I.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Sorry about the family problems but this was such a wonderfully positive post. thanks. The flower is quite pretty too.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hello LGS,

You are one squirrel I will allow in my garden.

Ivan

JR's Thumbprints said...

I've witnessed how a prison horticulture program can tame the beast. For some reason, watching something grow can make a person happy. Unfortunately, prisoners will steal from another man's garden plot and you can smell the violence in the air.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

OMG,

You mean they'll actually steal your plants?

Ivan

the walking man said...

You can pick your nose but you can't pick your family *sigh* sometimes you just have to let things ride the wave and when they crash to the shore pick up whatever is left over.

But the purple thing growing, that's good, growth is the only sign of life.

Peace Ivan, just peace.

mark

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