We all have one plant (or a few) that we do not understand. For me it was radish. In my first few years as a rooftop gardener, every radish crop I tried to grow came out wooden, under-sized, and pathetic. Radishes are easy to grow (given the right conditions) and I eventually figured out what it was that I was doing wrong. These days I can look back on that time and laugh, but in the moment my so-called “failure” in this area was a bit demoralizing.
I’ve been saving this prompt idea for a time when we could all use something a bit silly and dumb and with this hot muggy weather and the early July holidays behind us, I think the time is now.
This idea came to me when my dog Molly was outside chasing the squirrels that invade my garden daily. I was reminded of a Weird Al song that I used to hear on the Dr. Demento show as a kid called “Squirrels” that was a parody of the Beastie Boys “Girls.” [Oddly enough I can't find any reference to it online.]
The summer solstice (June 21) has just passed and I thought it fitting to mark the turning of the seasons. Summer is my favourite season of the year, a joyful time of long days spent outdoors soaking up vitamin D and enjoying the bounty of crops as they come into fruition. However, having just visited the desert, I now understand firsthand how for some of you, summer is a difficult if not brutal season that is spent indoors. For that reason I’ve tried to keep this one open-ended so that you can approach it however you choose.
Grow Write Guild Prompt #7: Write about one plant that is currently in bloom.
Further Notes & Questions:
- Go outside and look at your garden right now. What is in bloom? Choose one plant and write about it.
- You don’t have to choose a bloom that you like. For something different, try writing about a flower that you don’t like.
- Don’t feel compelled to teach us anything if you don’t want to. Simply write about your experiences with that plant.
- From where did you get the plant?
- How does the colour of the flower make you feel?
- Take a photograph or draw a picture to accompany your post.
I’m thinking about landscapes this week as I prepare to go on a roadtrip through two — possibly three (we’ll see how far we get) North American deserts. I’ve always been drawn to the desert. When I think of this landscape I think of big skies, stars that touch the ground, magic, and grit. Perhaps it has something to do with how vastly different it is from the landscape around my home. The grass is always greener, or errr… dryer. It’s so contrary to our wetlands and forests that I can’t help but approach it with a strong feeling of respect, awe, and intense curiosity.
Speaking of which… there is also something to be said about the landscapes of our memory. For example, I spent the bulk of my childhood living next to a fallow brownfield located behind a derelict suburban shopping plaza. As a result, I have an enduring soft spot for fallow fields and overgrown parking lots where nature is in a wild clash with human “progress.” Even now I can see where aspects of this wildness has crept into the way I approach my own gardens and the plants weeds) that volunteer themselves each year.