Monday, June 9, 2008

Growing things

Ambition would try and tell me that today I was a fool. But I planned it that way. After morning Mass, instead of heading back to the basement suite to paint, I went to the nursery and picked up various soils and mulch and went to my parents where the greenhouse is.

I decided the night before that I would spend the day planting the long-stratified seeds, many of which were already sprouted, to my delight. You stratify the seeds in the refrigerator. Many of them have been in there since late last year. Some alas, are still in the refrigerator after this day's planting. With as many seeds as I have going, it is not something you do with a little spare time. You have to make it a day.

But today it was pouring. Wonderful to work in. A little covering from the trees in the backyard, no problem. I noticed among the treasures already growing in the greenhouse, some insect had sawed in half one of the Nordmann Fir sprouts (seed collected from Redwood Park), which still had its seed coat on its head. The stem eaten down to the dirt, and the head decapitated. And on my fingers after handling it, the pungent turpentine smell, just from that wee sprout. I have two other Nordmanns going, so it wasn't totally devastating. The same thing happened to one of the Pawpaw sprouts as well. But have two more of those. Germinating the seeds is one thing; seeing them through the first year of growth, is quite another. Take the Giant Sequoias (seed also from Redwood Park): easy to sprout it seems, but the percentage of die back of sprouts is high. They are perhaps one the most finicky. Unlike say, a certain walnut I have growing (at a height past my knee) which I dug up only last year as a tender little guy, having had his entire crown vanquished by a weed whacker, and only a little leafage newly shooting there from.

If a person were to happen upon the greenhouse and saw, among the other things growing, the dozen or so thin green stems in one corner, that looked like the most meagre onion chives, would they think they were Spanish Bluebells?

The kingdom of heaven is like...

The disciple is not above his Master...

Stewardship, not gardening.

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