Thursday, June 18, 2015

Working on a Belated Green Thumb

It's been a rainy spring so far, which means everything is lush (including the weeds!).  It also means  friends and neighbors dealing with downed trees and flash flooding.  Nothing like that at 67 E. Main Street, although three houses down a tree split in half.  My parents as well have been spared any flooding, and they have a long history of it.

Yesterday was dry so I spent a good deal of the day weeding.  We have a small yard, but the house is surrounded by beds on two and a half sides and it went last summer without much tending.  We are about to have a riot, however, of various kinds of lilies which the previous owner planted.  Three hydrangea plants seem to be growing well.  I'm proud of myself for not having  killed any of it!

I do love my hands in the dirt, a feeling I come by honestly with farmers galore in the family tree.  I did not inherit my grandmother Beulah's and great-grandmother Pearl's green thumb, although that may be simply because I have never been able to give it the time that I can now.

I took it upon myself to revive an old family tradition in one of cemetery plots.  The plot is at Highland Cemetery in Avoca, and it's the Henderson family plot.  My grandfather Hopkins' mother was a Henderson, so there are Hopkins buried there, including my brother Dale.  The main stone in the plot is a five foot or so pillar, surrounded by a place to plant.  In my memory my grandmother always tended to this planting each year, with grandchildren helping.  She died in 2004 and others in the family kept it up for a couple years, but when I found it this year it was filled with well-established grass (and a substantial ants' nest).  Here are before and after pictures.

I used red geraniums and vinca.  It was a pleasure to do it--the kind of simple pleasure I need to restore my life.  I've been reading Parker Palmer on working my inner life and it is bearing some fruit in my outer life, which is how, I think, it is supposed to happen.  I think I have spent way too much time trying to make it work the other way around.

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