Wednesday, March 21, 2012


There are seeds sprouting in boxes on my kitchen table, the conversations with the other women in my life thankfully aren't about what shoes are in this season, but about politics and pondering out concepts of life and humanity and how to make good compost and grow things. I've learned so much sitting there and taking in all this knowledge that seems to get more archaic when everything can be bought and is so convenient even if it includes gratuitous amounts of high fructose corn syrup.

There's a community garden up the street and I've been given a small strip to grow things on. The coordinator says she hopes I don't mind that everyone's a couple decades older, but I don't mind that at all. I find that people my own age who are into the hobbies of previous generations like to act as if they are the first people ever to do such thing and that gets old.

The winter was so mild that the kale and the collard greens never stopped growing, and the path is overgrown. I want to start putting seeds in the earth now because it feels like summer not two months before the last frost date, but my eternal pessimism curbs my impulses. She says they're an easygoing group of people, and I hope so. I'm looking forward to making this small patch blooming and fruitful.

My mom had a big garden at the first house they lived in, and I remember going out there to pull carrots and pluck peppers and pick the plums off the trees in the back yard. I didn't like the dirt and the getting thorns under my skin when I was younger, but then one summer, me and the girl up the street spent the summer months cutting paths through the overgrown lilacs and flower bushes in her parents' yard to make ourselves a place to play and chase the boys down the street through the bushes with supersoakers. 

When I moved to a first-floor apartment, I ended up with a plot of land in the back, the process started upon the news of a suicide and almost-murder in a sphere of my world and as the phone calls came in, I was so sad I couldn't cry and instead ended up ripping out weeds and undergrowth with my bare hands for lack of any way to otherwise mentally process.  I grew herbs, tomatoes, zinnias, beans, and hot peppers in soil that was full of glass and pulverized brick without having a clue as to what I was doing and things grew, were cooked at my dinner table, and shared with guests and neighbors. Last year I had more than I could have possibly used on an 8X8 foot plot, living on eggplant and tomato curries and basil leaves in pasta all summer, and tremendously satisfied to see labors come to fruition and shared.

The lushness of green and the innumerable variations of growing things continue to astound me. I wish I had more space sometimes or that I had more lush climes, because I love the brightness and the colors that I see in the greenhouse and in pictures of places that have to worry less about frost. Sometimes I wish I had more land for something more whimsical than vegetables and zinnias, but maybe that'll come in time, while I get inspired by other places.

Villa Demidoff, Florence

 Waldspirale, Germany (I would love to live in apartments like these).
Bridget found this picture, and being a sucker for both installations of the organic kind and abandoned houses of worship, it fills me with strange joy. More sweetness and straungeness of this kind findable at Atlas Obscura.


  1. I feel the same way about growing things but apartment living isn't always conducive to gardening. It sounds as though you do very well in difficult circumstances.

    If you need a little more inspiration while you wait for the planting season the Hundertwasser website is a feast for the eyes.

  2. Yay Trees! This weather keeps up, frost might becomes less of an issue, but given what the Peonage has sampled, you're doing alright (fine, all right) and now it seems you'll (maybe?) have more space to work with, combining home plus the plot.