Monday, July 20, 2009

sore loser

I never would have guessed that I'm a sore loser, but that side of me is raising its ugly head. I was recently rejected from a juried art exhibition, but that is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about my garden.

Back in March I carefully planted my Italian vegetable and herb seeds into peat pots filled with seed starter. I checked them for moisture every day, carefully watching for tiny green shoots breaking the surface of the soil. When the babies erupted I placed the pots in my sunny dining room windows, turning them cautiously every day to allow for strong, straight growth. Eventually the plants grew second leaves and I had to force myself to trim out all but the strongest growth in each little hard for me, but a good lesson I can apply in my painting studio. Keep only what is best for the plant or painting and eliminate the weak parts.

Soon my little nurslings grew into transplants. They went into big ceramic vessels, my reconstituted straw bale garden from last year, and the "in-the-ground" garden across the street in our neighbor's back lot. For a while, everything flourished, including the bean and squash seeds planted directly in the ground. Rain was plentiful, the sun shined and all was right in my world.

The sun shone relentlessly. No rain. The clay soil baked and cracked and the stalwart plants stood their ground, but began to breathe shallowly. Despite carrying water across the street, it was never enough to stop the downward spiral for that garden. Stressed by the weather, my plants are losing their battle to survive and I am really mad. I hate to lose what I grew from seed, nurtured into strong plants and tended with such expectations. Mad at the sun!

But like my rejection from that art exhibition, the death of my garden will not end my continued hope for next year. I rant and rave against what I can't control, but it's time to move on. Back to the studio, and oh, I can't wait until my new seed catalogs come.

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