garden

Spring

There’s a pleasant numbness that comes from breezes.  Some people become meditative in bath tubs, but I have little patience for inactive sitting, and even less tolerance of prolonged submersion in heat.  My short cut to contemplation comes from the air.

Spring has finally come.  It’s too early and there may yet be snow and cold, but it almost doesn’t matter.  I can smell life returning the way one immediately knows proper coffee after spending months drinking gas station swill.  The air is thicker without being heavier.  My synesthesia would have me call the wind a cream color, like the slightly orange lip of a worn smooth clam shell.  I think, though, that the air is more accurately described by green.

There’s little to show, only a few short bulbs with thick, fleshy spikes rising from the tan ground.  The grass is still in its half dead malaise.  The buds on the trees have yet to pop, but all are fat and ready.  I no longer feel as much an island isolated by unforgiving seas, but now a castaway on some more forgiving coast.

I’ve written little this week and the time since last I wrote seems vast.  Either through a trick of my bad short term memory or merely the collapsing view which human consciousness takes, anything over a few days abstained seems eons gone.  I suppose to make up for this I still acutely and sharply recall events from when I could barely talk.

Memory has possess me lately, probably due to my dwelling on mortality.  Fortunately, nostalgia hasn’t bled into anything I’m writing.  If anything, these stories seem even freer of it than some of my previous works, as if I were getting it all out of my system before I begin to type.

I’ve more or less given up on editing LiaGH for this month.  I’ve got something else demanding my attention and the working titled “Adam waits for a train” is coming to better more enjoyable than a serious edit would allow.  I do plan to edit the novel, I just might take the time to write another first.

Before that, I need to refill my outbox.  I haven’t been keeping up with my rejection letters so there are a few finished pieces that actually have one or no venues for consideration.  Hardly right that they should be allowed to squat without making some effort toward repaying their accommodations.  Between the need for that and last night’s bad sleep, tempered by my desire to stay right here, by the open window and next to the susurrating plants, I’ll spend the afternoon catching up on my submissions.

When the sun has crested I’ll abandon the literary world to get my hands in the dirt.  Thereafter to some sculptural projects.

It will have been a good day.

 

 

 

Advertisements

A Productive Delay

A bit of a hiccup in this week’s writing plans.  No flash fiction for today, though I hope to have a piece up by tomorrow.

Yesterday, I escaped the house and limped downtown for a cup of coffee.  Getting out was good, though my foot reminded me of existing limitations with each right step.  I mostly ignored them.  On my way to the shop, I passed by my gym, a century old YMCA that, despite its committee’s best efforts, still retains some architectural interest.  The peripheral gardens are small, and the groundskeeper or landscaper that the Y uses has perpetuated the curious eccentricity of planting kalanchoes as temperate decorations.

I’ve noticed the rising popularity of succulents in cool climate gardens.  Sedum is perhaps the most noticeable, as I’ve seen large swaths of low growing varieties in even conservative yards.  Kalanchoes are a distant, though commonplace, second.

I don’t know when people began ignoring the plants’ desired biomes when selecting them, and I suppose it doesn’t do a great deal of harm as succulents are more susceptible to fungal infections, to wet and cold, than local species, and as such aren’t likely to outpace native flowers or ground cover.  Frequently the desert plants don’t make it through the winter, and when they do they start late, only coming to full health in summer.  My porch box prickly paw patch looks half dead two-thirds of the time, only thriving between june and september.

Succulents are attractive, they’re among my favorites, but I wouldn’t include them in my garden.  Perhaps harmless, but they do seem odd.  A bit like coming across a fence made of table legs.  Aesthetically pleasing, functional, but odd.  Strikingly out of place.  Kalanchoes are especially so, as not much deciduous or herbaceously perennial looks like a kalanchoe.  They flower in much the same way temperate plants do, with the flowers appearing at their tops rather than as the late afterthought forming the flowers of many other succulents and cacti.  They’re green.  They have leaves.  Other than that, one would be unlikely to be fooled into thinking them local.  He might instead wonder what this benign alien intended with his garden.

Kalanchoes are better in pots.  Not only do xenos specimens seem better suited to a protected and protective environment, kalanchoes do better indoors in bright light than they do outside.  Our winters are too cold, our springs too wet.  My feelings aside, I’d not pluck something from another’s garden, even if that other is an ambiguous, corporate entity. 

I pride myself on rescue, however.

Someone, it seems the landscaper or groundskeeper mentioned above, cut through the Y’s yard with a weed smasher, the dull corded sort of thing that does as much damage to remaining plants as it does to those extricated.  On the sidewalk by the yard were several bunches of kalanchoe stalks, some already trampled to pulp, others with ruptured vacuoles such that they wilted, seemed to melt in on themselves.  A few were salvageable, and so I did.

Tomorrow I’ll dissect the healthy portions, given the sections time to scab.  In a week or so I’ll pot them.  In a month, the survivors should have developed enough root mass to support themselves and the world will have a few dozen, more appropriately planted, plants to beautify it and process its excess carbon.

Days in which I can propagate new plants from abandoned sections give me hope. 

The world, for those few hours, seems tenable.

Bureaucrats, Trees, Cranes and Decrees

There’s a crane parked in my yard.  I noticed this because I spent the last two hours tending the porch front, back, and stump plants.  They say hello.

My green things are worse for the ware of my four day vacation.  Though I watered everything before I left it was apparently not enough.  I still hope for my ill maples to pull through.  My herbs will still produce (the sage seems actually to have enjoyed the neglect).

I met the woman who’s in charge of citation and property inspection for my area.  It turns out I’ve spoken with her on the phone several times.  I pictured her as a pudgy office worker in k-mart clothing.  She is, in reality, an athletic, older women who was dressed, today, in a militant set of all black police fatigues.  It seems “officer” isn’t merely a title her department grants her, but rather that she is the police arm of a bureaucratic section.  I’m glad I made a good impression.

The crane seems ominous.  It’s parked too near my replacement maple.  I don’t like its orientation, that toward a massive older maple that is one of the last grand trees of front street and the only tree left on the block that’s as tall as my house.  It seems set to deforest the block in as few motions as possible.

New friend be damned, if they take down those trees, the city will feel it.