Gardening Update

It’s been a few months since planting those seeds back in March.

As you might already be aware, I planted several other seeds in addition to the lavender, chamomile, and lemon balm purchased at CVS. Some are doing significantly better than others; I haven’t seen any lavender or cucumbers, but the catnip and marigolds are definitely alive and well, and the tomato plants needed re-potting because they got too big (please don’t let them die with the transplant). The school where I did my student teaching gave me an aloe plant in need of care, which my mother ended up claiming for herself–but I made up for it by taking more spider plant babies.

I haven’t mentioned it, but two years ago, I planted a couple of rose bushes. Nothing major–they were discounted and I liked the color, and I’ve always liked the look of roses. At around $15, I figured it was a low-cost risk, that if if I lost them, at least they didn’t cost me that much. But things ended up going really well even after I put them in the ground, and I thought, I did it! I kept something alive! The bushes bloomed for about as long as I figured roses were supposed to bloom for (I think it’s something like as long as it’s warm enough out for them?), and then the seasons changed.

If you were in Massachusetts (or any part of New England, to be honest) during the early months of 2015, I think you’ll probably remember the repulsive volume of snow we received like an unwanted gift from Mother Nature. You’ll also probably remember how much of an imperative it became for people to get the snow off of their roofs. At least one school I know of suffered major structural damages because of the weight of the snow and the inability of the building’s roof to support it.

In the process of shoveling the snow from our roof, the men doing so managed to block off all exits from my house–and then promptly left, because I guess their job was done and none of them could see a problem with leaving someone without a way to get in or out of their home. It took four hours for my aunt and me to shovel a narrow passage to my front door. I could not see out of the back porch door, one of those sliding glass ones, because the snow blocked it. (I am sure, of course, that this is common in places like Canada.)

Given all of this snow, I wasn’t surprised to see the rose bushes broken when everything finally melted; I was just disappointed.

There is good news though, which is why I had to go into the backstory regarding my roses in the first place: it only took about a year for them to recover. When I checked on the roses yesterday, there were blooms. I think that there are probably some lessons we can take away here.

  1. I significantly underestimated the durability and resilience of these flowers.
  2. It is likely that someone (possibly even yourself) has underestimated your own ability to come back from dire situations.
  3. If these roses survived six feet of snow (what’s the weight of that? I don’t know) being dropped on them after at least three feet already being there, don’t you think you’d probably be able to come back from a bad situation, too?

I don’t mean to be trite. Comparing human struggles to nature (especially when the venue for that comparison is opened through gardening, of all things) can sometimes come across as belittling the significance of an actual person’s life experience. That said, the human mind and body, not unlike a thick-stemmed, flowering shrub (that is technically closer to a tree, but whatever), is astoundingly resilient. Sometimes, life will shove too much at you at once, and you will struggle because that’s just the way life works. That doesn’t have to mean you can’t recover from it, in whatever way that means to  you–even if it takes what feels like forever to do so.

I have to remind myself of this frequently.


Author: jillboger

Part time writer. Editor-in-Chief for the Bridge volume 13, former EIC for The Odyssey at BSU. My glasses protect my secret identity.

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