Saturday, November 01, 2008

The gardening snowball effect- shopping center plant rescue

I was talking tonight with an angel friend of mine and sharing this update with her, and i randomly said, "Maybe this gardening thing is really some sort of therapy for me." She, being wise and NOT ME, said, "Ya think?"

The community garden (CG)benefited greatly from the shopping center haul. I mentioned this upcoming event in a previous blog and I am here to say that the experience has created a snowball effect in my gardening. I am NOT a landscaper. I am a planter. i plant. I weed. I get plants and plant them. That's it. No guarantees. This task of planting hurts my back, but it heals my heart. Yoga helps the back, so it all balances out.

I mentioned an important date. The day the landscapers change out the plants at the shopping center. The day came.

I was at the shopping center at 7am. No landscapers. I ordered breakfast in the restaurant where the manager first told me about the changing of the plants. Still no trucks. There I sat in my work clothes, in wait. Suddenly, one, then two, then several more trucks began to pull into the center parking lot. Men got out. Men pulled plants out of pots. They were at the other end of the lot from where I was, and time was short. I drove over and asked if they were pulling plants today and they said, yes. I asked what would happen to the plants, and they said they were dumping them in the truck and carting them off. I asked if I could have them when they were thrown away and they said, what did I want? I said, caladiums and ferns. They said, with a handfull of irritation in their voices that it would be a while before they got to those. Then,.....then....I said the magic words. "Well, actually, I have a pitchfork in the trunk of my car, I can dig them myself."

You would have thought I was the dentist saying, "No cavities!"

The men finally smiled at me and said with a little bit of caffeinated enthusiasm" Have at it, take what you want! It's less work for us!! Have at it sister!!"

I drove back to the restaurant where the staff was waiting for the trucks, and held up my pitchfork. "He said we could DIG!!" Well, they pulled boxes out of mid air and I shared my pitchfork and, like Edward Scissorhands, we cleaned out those pots in seconds. The manager asked for my information so she could call me in the spring because it was so much fun.

I toured the rest of the center and by 8:30, I had a literal jungle residing in my car. My little VW cabrio had elephant ears hanging out the window, ferns, caladiums, two trees that looked like lantana, and multiple mystery plants stuffed in every spare corner. There were leaves and stems dragging the street like when you close your coat in the car door. It was Fabulous, I tell you. A traveling nursery. With the radio blaring, I sounded like a modern day icecream truck only with plants.

Well, my boss shopped from the car, as did co workers. Several people wondered how I would ever get the dirt out, but i wasn't worried. Even though I had put the goodies in bags, the dirt escaped with fervor. There were inches of dirt in the seat, on the dash, and on the floor. My only concern was knowing my convertible top had a leak, and if we had rain before I could clear out my inventory, well, I admit I was a little concerned about rooting plants in the floorboards of my vehicle. A novel idea, but not one I really wanted to see up close and personal.

In two days' time, the plants were transferred to new dirt. I have maybe a hundred caladium bulbs sleeping on newspaper in my green room. along with a tree hoping to live long enough for me to give it to one of my daughters for Christmas. The rest are in the community garden, my gardenette, and at co workers' houses, and home church friends' houses. Isn't that neat?

The gift that keeps on giving. Dirty, in a good way. Something happened that day, coupled with the growing pleasure of working the community garden, I was finding community through sharing plants, and I was feeding my problem solving hankering by figuring out how to find plants that I needed and connecting the needs of others - a plant switchboard sort of. It became theraputic for me.

Usually, I refer to therapy to therapuke because if you are really doing the hard work therapy requires, it feels puky. But this therapy had no puke in it. Just dirt.

No comments: