Plants are the New Toilet Paper

Where I live, the end of May signifies the start of planting season. It’s deemed safe to put annuals and tender vegetables into the ground without worrying about frost or freeze. I love this time of year with all the hard work cleaning and prepping of my yard and gardens. Gardening provides me with time to think and to be. It’s my food for the soul.

I made plans to get my plants on Saturday at a small-town garden shop that I frequent each year. I can always count on the inventory there to suit my needs for the color palette I am planning for the year. I donned my mask and gloves, chose a quiet time of day, and drove up the road.

As I pulled into the drive I could see the stark front to the building. Everything looked drab and gray without the dozens of pots and hangers of every color and variety that typically hang there. The shop looked naked without the usual plants: plants that love sun, plants that love shade, plants that are multicolored, and plants that always make me drool well beyond my budget. All I saw were empty hooks and shelves. As I poked around the corner I spotted a few skimpy looking common plants, definitely none of my favorites.

I walked to the side of the yard where I saw the owner. “Jeff,” I asked, “What’s up? Where’s all your stock?” “Everyone is into gardening this year and the inventory can’t keep up with the demand… Plants are the new toilet paper!” he replied.

I chuckled at the joke and turned to walk back to my car, realizing the sad reality of not planting this weekend. And then it hit me! Yikes I’m running low on toilet paper too! No plants and no toilet paper. What a double whammy!

In a Funk

I’m in a funk – a place that I can’t pull myself out of. I am trying to write but nothing seems right or worthy.

I made the decision to just let my fingers move across the page hoping that something would appear and make sense. Nothing yet except these ramblings and moans. I don’t like being here, a writer without a plan, without a seed, without a story. Nothing, empty, blank.

I just couldn’t let two weeks go by without trying.

So here is my attempt. It is simply just words on a page.

Violet Picking Tips

“They are junk”

I could never figure out why my dad declared violets as junk when I saw such beauty and delight in the purple and white blossoms. Despite his declaration I’d run around the yard picking them to gift my mom. I knew she appreciated the joy of the blossoms sitting in a tiny vase on the kitchen windowsill.

There is a knack to picking violets you know. They have rather long stems but you have to lean in low and reach in deep to get to the base. Once you find the base you need to grab the bottom ever so slightly and pull the step away from the plant. The long stems will do well sitting deep in a small vase of water. I discovered this trick after many tries at putting stubbing stems into a vase only to have them wilt for lack of water within hours.

The other trick I discovered to picking violets was to get out early in the day. You may ask why do you need to get out early? Well, the dreaded lawnmower visited our yard in the hot afternoon sun. And goodness knows dad, who declared the spring blossom a nuisance, would swiftly steal away any color from our lawn.

Hurry now, for the time is right to pick those purple and white beauties to grace your dinner tables and windowsills. We all need some spring joy in our lives about now!

These violets appeared in a crack on the patio. I love how the colors sit against the gray of the rock wall. Their presence inspired me to recall the memories of violet picking as a child.

It’s Tuesday and I’m joining the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Take a peek and consider joining in