Press-Republican

Columns

May 22, 2011

Planting lesson may develop from voice of reason

How do you horrify a horticulturist? You break the rules. That's what you do. I'm doing it right here in my Morrisonville yard. I'll get to that in a minute. Since I can remember, my drummer has marched me to an oddball beat, and even though the golden years are approaching, I'm trying to remain one step ahead.

In an effort to melt away that excess 100-pound sack of fat I've been carrying around, I began to hit the pavement, albeit at a less than frantic pace. So far, at least, I seem to be remaining a little ways in front of the old man with the sickle. Five days a week, my corpulence is in evidence slogging along the road for a couple miles at considerably less than a power walk. Never mind. I feel better, and I get to wave at many passersby. Exercise makes me hungry, but I'm trying to cut calories. I really am.

Toward that end, I recently seized the shovels, hoes and rakes between spring rains and started digging in the dirt along the fence between our house and the local fire department. Kaye and I love to work outside and, while she prettied her flower gardens, I was inspired to prepare what we have lovingly referred to as our "crop strip." It's a narrow band of land that starts where Kaye's flowers end and continues to the Saranac River Bank.

As I shook out the clumps of sod, I could hear my late mother's voice saying, "You'd better hold off for a while. You could still get a frost." Her green thumb always inspired me, and it will be a sad springtime when I can no longer put seeds and plants into Mother Earth.

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