Monday, September 6, 2010
Like Raising Children
I have just come in from planting two perennials - a penstamon and a hyssop - that bees were enjoying at Lowe's. There is never a time when I dig in the dirt that I fail to think of how plants are so much like people. This time I was reminded of rearing children, how we must provide the kind of home in which their roots can develop and in which they can grow strong. The gardener must have some knowledge as to what the plants need. Then we prepare the soil - the environment - by digging deep and loosening the soil that will go around them. We must water the new plant frequently at first, but then we start to watch over the plant and see when watering is needed. We don't over water (over nurture) because if we do they become soft and their roots will not learn to go deep and they will rot, and if we water too little (under nurture) the plant will soon perish. When they get bigger, we may have to prune them or correct the way they are going. And if we take care of them well, they reward us by their nice blooms or fruit. My two new plants probably weren't planted in the best season, but if I watch over them, water as needed, keep the weeds away, and cover them with some mulch (a warm blanket or prayers), they may be healthy plants next summer and attract some pretty bees and butterflies to my yard.