02 May 2008

Metaphorical possibilities of a late blooming spring...for my psyche and my salad plates

Last week was a sad week--saying goodbye to students in my classes whom I have come to enjoy seeing on a regular basis, wishing well friends who are graduating with PhDs and MAs and BAs, grading exams and essays for one final grade column in my grade books, and....desperately attempting to salvage plants and flowers that have been severely damaged by the harsh winter and the absence of a healing spring climate.

But this week has brought with it amazing growth and fortified resilience for my garden, and I couldn't be happier with the results. I hadn't expected my trailing vine to return this year, and before yesterday I saw no signs of budding or life in the sad plot, where last year it crept slowly in March and then soared to the top of the ladder it attaches to in June.

Then I found it. Under the rubble of leaves yet to be composted, overgrown day lilies and hardy foliage that needs no water to courageously survive, my tender vine plant grew six inches above ground in two days.

Somehow saying my goodbyes to people last week has taken on a whole new meaning, and my garden is regenerating, ready for a new year of sun and nourishment. Suddenly the prospect of staying in Pullman doesn't seem so boring, and the idea of watching grass grow no longer a ludicrous cliche.

The best part about my late bloomers? They are stronger than last year's crop, and the onions and garlic and herbs I'm growing will be potent, sustainable (and welcome) additions to my salad plate this summer. I'm hoping to save money (since summer money is tighter than the space on my climbing vine ladder in full bloom) and grow as much as I can this summer.

My new wish: is a large bumper crop of tomatoes that will make fresh tomato sauce for the year too lofty a wish?

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