Sunday, April 27, 2008


It seems that almost everything survived in my garden this winter. I have only lost one grass plant. It is the second year in a row that I have lost a grass. I think I have learned that I must plant these early in the season, so that they have time to establish themselves before braving a New Hampshire winter.

Now I wait for the wildflowers to bloom. I hope they have survived. I hope that they will come back. I have a brook that runs down the side of my hilly property, past the house and under the driveway. The brook dries out in the summer, but leaves lovely marshy soil that has become home to Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Unfortunately, last year our brook flooded and took out some of the driveway near where I spotted the lovely orchid like, chocolate, striped bloom. We had the driveway rebuilt and I'm concerned that my Jack in the Pulpits might have been disturbed.

The first year I lived in this house we had a small stand of lady slippers in the backyard. The next year the lady slippers did not return. The year after that we had the weed field near the edge of the forest, where the lady slippers once resided, redone. It is our only flat piece of property. We wanted my daughter to have a safe play area and this seemed best. We had sod put in. It wasn't exactly where I saw the ladyslippers two years previously, but I wonder if all the machines brought in to take out rocks and such could have disturbed whatever was there. If anything was there. I am told that lady slippers come and go. I wait for my lady slippers to come back.

On the nature walks down our street, we've run into chickory, queen anne's lace and a host of other wildflowers. The wildflowers are not "mine" the way the grasses are, but they feel like it. Their survival feels personal. I hope for their return and wait with my breath held to see which come back to me. I can't tame them. I dare not move them for the sake of pampering. Each year the ones that make it are an extra special surprise - survival of the fittest, growing for me in an indirect way...perhaps growing in spite of me.

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