Belated Gardening

Last week, I took stock of the seeds I owned: milkweed, chives, passionflower, and clover. The chives are two years old, and there are several hundred seeds still in the bag. Maybe in hindsight, they should have been planted en masse, but no matter. They are here now.

April is here, and it is time for planting. Last week, I cleared my sister’s planter and placed the chives, milkweed, and clover in neat rows. At least, they were as neat as I could make them given I couldn’t find the little shovel we use for planting flowers. Twelve passionflower seeds soaked in a jar, for 24 hours per the instructions online, before I transferred them to pots. I’ve been watering the seeds and checking them daily. I think the chives and milkweed have sprouted, but the passionflower is taking a while.

Image from page 677 of "The Book of gardening; a handbook of horticulture" (1900)

I have to thank social media for spurring me to action. Someone I follow was talking about the seeds they had ordered and warned that seeds could lose their life. They mentioned having a weakness for heirloom seeds and provided tips on composting. That spurred me to action, and to make a plan. I wanted to make sure that my seeds lived, and that they would sprout. Because while the world is chaotic, we can still feed the bees and the butterflies with our plants.

Seeds can lose their potency. If waiting too long, the Internet warned me, passionflower can take months to germinate. They can become food for possums. I learned this a few months ago when I mistook some burned out mosquito candle holders for pots and buried some mysterious strawberry seeds in what I thought was soil. A few nights later, I saw a large opossum scurrying from the holders looking smug, and the strawberries never sprouted. I have my suspicions about what happened to them.

Opportunities are like seeds. Sometimes we have to hesitate, and sometimes we have to make our move, to take the opportunities. It can be hard to judge which seeds will end up in opossum claws, and which ones will sprout against the weeds and famished soil.

This year, I’ve been seizing as many opportunities as I can. Some have succeeded where others have fallen. I am excited and scared about one giant opportunity.



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