3-13-14 Drought, freeze and neglect can’t make this garden stop

Work, and a lot of it, has really cut into my gardening life.

A reporting assignments took me to within a few blocks of my house Wednesday, and I was tempted to play hookey and pull a few weeds.

Those few days after a rain are great for grabbing those greedy takeover artists.

Instead, I found myself back at the office, daydreaming about leaving work early. Maybe I could sneak out and no one would notice.

Of course, some frustrating and important new task arrived, and it was nearly dark by the time I reached my front door. Perhaps the garden is so inviting because I’m doubting this beauty can last. We’ve been talking about drought and destruction for so many months, perhaps gardening will become a luxury.

Will I be wistfully looking online at photos from Washington state, “remembering” when real flowers bloomed outside my window? Will gardeners in the Sacramento Valley stick plastic tulips into sandy garden beds filled with cacti?

Yet, growing has always been temporary.

We work, things grow, they die, we work some more.

This winter things wilted and frost bit.

I guess I temporarily gave up the urge to grow.

When I did drag the hose around the yard, it was one of those place-saver tasks.

Then one day, the yard, and I, woke up.

When I wasn’t looking, daffodils sprung from the recently-parched soil.

The buds of drought-tolerant lavender have formed, waiting for bees.

When I looked again, three waxy, red poppies had spread wide, exposing their inner-workings to the sun. I looked again and the petals had retracted as the sun dipped over the fence line.

It didn’t take much to hack back the edges of the lantana and star jasmine that had turned brown during the deepest cold.

If the plants are going to look beautiful, I might as well help a little so I can take credit.

Heck. If I sprinkled some seeds, maybe next time I look, something new will have grown.

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