27 March 2008

b's observations

During our first autumn at the house, I was out in the flower garden doing what I find I do best, which is looking at things, pulling a few weeds here and there, and then looking at things some more. As my eyes wandered over the weeds, I noticed a rosette of pointed leaves with some soft spines on them. As I was getting ready to yank them up, B said, “Hey, maybe you don’t want to pull those up. Maybe they’re a plant you want in your garden.” Yeah, right, I thought, but I left them. Sure enough, next spring the spiny little pointed leaves turned into a beautiful pink Oriental poppy.

Similarly, one very cold winter morning this year, B looked out the window at a flower pot on our fire escape in the city and said, “I think the cold has finally taken it.” When I asked him what had been taken, he told me that since late autumn he’d had his eye on a little clump of leaves in the flower pot. It had managed to remain green throughout December and January, but when a spell of really cold weather hit in February, it looked like it had finally shriveled up for good.

The clump of leaves looked dried up and cold. I put it on my list of things to clean up when the weather got better. B, however, asked me to wait and see. He said he’d gotten attached to that little plant.

As the weather grew less nasty, the leaves looked less dead. When they began to green up (a darker green than the leaves on the plants I potted up last night), I finally recognized it. It’s a pansy, and it must have self-sowed over the summer. And sure enough, this morning I noticed the first cream-colored blossom is about to open. What a trooper. And thanks, B.

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