Thursday, April 8, 2010

Old Friends

I recently peered into my neglected raised garden bed to find a delightful surprise. Despite the fact that I'm such a terrible gardener, the perennials still felt obliged to return.

There amidst the depleted soil, skeletons of plants from last year and incidental mulching from fall leaves were sorrel, anise hyssop, and strawberry vines. Though I don't deserve them, there they were.

My first adult garden (and by "adult" I mean "not done by a child" rather than "sexy") was deceptively productive. I planted a few tomatoes, basically went away from the summer, and returned to find a jungle of plants over six feet tall drooping with gorgeous, heirloom fruits. I thought gardening was a cinch and I expected that it would be even easier when I moved out of the city to somewhere with more space.

I was wrong. That one tiny, urban tomato lot has yielded more than two seasons have in the raised beds I built and lovingly filled with manure and loam. The yard is huge, but the trees around it are even more huge, and there just isn't great sun. We spent $50 bucks on supplies last spring and only had a handful of cucumbers to show for it. So I gave up.

But the perennials didn't. What better symbol for this season of renewal than a juicy herb poking its leaves through the frost-bitten soil? Though I turned my back on them, they didn't turn their back on me. Wait, do plants have backs?

As payment for the loyalty of these faithful old friends, I will cut off pieces of them and eat them.

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