cultivation

I’m craving flowers. Our yard is fine, relatively neat, a few flowers here and there, chard seeds hidden underground right now, pepper and eggplant seeds in tiny trays, scapes sprouting from a few missed planted garlic cloves last year. I’ve no natural talent for gardens, and no one ever taught me.

But lately I want wild things. Blackberry bushes and hydrangeas. Foxglove. Magnolia. I wish I knew about roses. I wish I had herbs – rosemary, thyme, lemon basil, cilantro, chocolate mint – bursting out of their confines and onto the lawn.

We have a neighbor a few houses up the street with a fairy garden. Flowers in great painted pots. Trees and bushes so that you can hardly see his house, its glassed-in room, its cupola. He’s a nice man – we’ve talked once or twice as we passed one another on the road – but keeps to himself. I don’t know how to ask him to teach me. I don’t know how to become an apprentice.

The baby I could do. I tell myself it was natural, easy, but that’s not the whole story. I read about birthing babies for months and months before I was even pregnant. I had two midwives. I talked to women – mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends. Is that the way? Do I check out every book from the library, two by two, ask everyone I know who’s grown a thing?

A baby is more simple, in some respects. You can research the methods, the different techniques, all you want to, but once the seed is planted it’ll most likely sprout and grow and be with you for decades. Green things are more fickle. Miscarriage and stillbirth more likely than not.

It’s mid-April. Is it too late already?

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