Every year, just after Christmas, when the wait has ended for lots of eager children, my wait is just beginning. When will the displays of seeds appear in local stores? How soon is too soon to start my "start inside" seeds?
All this anticipation makes it a longer wait than it technically has to be--since I usually don't actually plant anything until late February or early March.
This year, though, the anticipation was more acute than usual since First Granddaughter, at two-and-a-half, is actually old enough this year to be part of the process. Together, we planted marigolds and pansies in tiny cells in big trays. The marigolds sprouted just three days later and the pansies shortly after that. They joined the tomatoes, peppers and basil that I had planted on my own the weekend before. All my little plant babies are doing spectacularly well, lined up in their tiny cells in their big trays next to the sliding glass door in the dining room, awaiting warmer weather so they can graduate to the great outdoors--it's my greenery nursery.
When First Granddaughter comes over, she almost always checks on the plants without any prompting from me. On Wednesday night, she was gently running her hands across the top of the plants--barely touching them. Like an air kiss except it was air plant patting. Then she took an interest in a particular pepper plant and began sort of pinching a leaf between her fingers.
I said, "Honey, you have to be careful with the plants. Don't hurt their leaves; they really need their leaves."
She loosened her grip on the pepper plant and paused to consider this information. Then, with her other hand, she pointed out the window at the bare trees in the backyard. She said, "Plants need leaves. My put these leaves on the plants outside."
She then grabbed the pepper leaf again. I disengaged her fingers and picked her up to explain how the trees had their own baby leaves, which would be getting bigger soon. Fortunately, there is a tree right next to the back deck and I was able to show her the itty-bitty just opening-buds. It was enough to convince her that she did not need to sacrifice the indoor plants in order for the outdoor plants to get their much-needed leaves.
G is for Garden
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