the laid.back Buddhist has MOVED...back!

Thursday, July 5

Lessons of an Impromptu Garden

I’m slaving away at my computer when I happen to overhear a phone conversation my mother’s having with my grandaunt, currently in Atlanta. In a mix of Chinese and Taiwanese, they were discussing how to grow my mom’s winter melon, which was starting to show signs of emerging. I didn’t even know our garden was growing winter melons! Then, I’m not that surprised…twenty-one years of experience as her daughter has taught me to be ready for anything.

“I dried some seeds for a full year before planting them. I think that helped.”
Good god! A whole year, and then another year before you knew whether the seed you planted was going to survive or even grow to a respectable size. Talk about patience. And, trust.

“How did I plant them? Like I planted everything else, I just threw a handful of the seeds into the ground and patted some dirt and home-made fertilizer over it.”

I bite back a smile. Through the phone, I can hear my grandaunt’s laughter of exasperation, and I understand how she feels.

A garden is associated with neat little rows and careful planting. I always thought of gardeners as very serene people who were patient and/or possessed a diligent green thumb. Or, they were rambunctious kindergarteners in the school garden. Whereas our garden started out as a whim of my mother’s, a person who liked very much to experiment and didn’t believe in boxes. Who knew I’d start associating the word garden with daily battleground?

Think 53-years-old Asian mother versus the suburban squirrels. Oh, it was awesome.

Okay, I’ll admit. Over the past two years, this whimsical garden behind our house has yielded some tangible and yes, even edible goods. Branching out from the herbs, my mom now tries to plant anything and everything she thinks might be suitable in our climate. And it has certainly been amazing to see what sprouts up because sometimes she forgets what she planted where.

In fact, I’m always some kind of amazed that things are actually sprouting. It goes to show that while knowledge can take you far, a willingness to keep trying is a true confirmation of the words, ‘you reap what you sow.’

Kudos to you, ma.

1 Musing(s):

Anonymous said...

being able to improvise is often what makes or breaks a garden. Especially when the seeds being propagated are from that magical store. The store that gives away dreams to the right gardener, the one who by improvision can cultivate a miracle. Sometimes the green thumb it takes, is never ending patience watered with unconditional love.

Winston Churchill