Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Green Thumbs and Passion Vines
The Bean, my budding botanist, is working for the summer, landscaping. Back in fourth grade, Mrs. Balace, the teacher he remembers most fondly of all the teachers he had growing up, turned him on to the wonder of growing things. Each child in her class started the year out with a terrarium, some dirt, a handful of seeds and a walking stick bug. Their mission was to sow the seeds and keep the subsequent plants alive, along with responsibility for the well being of Mr. W. S. Bug , who made his home, and cleverly camouflaged himself among those plants. The Bean has had two green thumbs ever since. For a while, in H.S. he was making salsa from hot peppers he grew, and selling it to the teachers. It was too hot for my taste---the kind that makes smoke come out your ears, but he had some dedicated clients!
Since the OC went north, the cat's been playing, so to speak. In addition to cutting the grass, keeping the bushes trimmed, and mollycoddling the OC's babies, the bamboo and the fig trees, the Bean has managed to add a couple of banana plants, a coffee plant, two kinds of guava, peach and grapefruit trees, two friends for the existing pomegranate tree, and a fence upon which he is training blackberries and raspberries. There's a collection of pots by the garage with an ever changing and growing parade of seedlings and cuttings, and plants rescued from jobs where they were being pulled out and discarded. A sampling--elephant ears, mother of millions, papyrus..........Can you tell that girls his age are thin on the ground around here??
This landscaping work involves frequent trips to nurseries, and he never comes home empty handed. Yesterday he came home with this passion flower vine. With which I immediately fell in love, and which made me remember these lines:
"Count no men poor who have the stars above,
The peace and quietude of evening hours,
And in their hearts that rarest gift of love,
And in their garden---flowers."
To which I say a heartfelt "Amen."