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To kill or not to kill, is it even a question?
As I sit on my shaded somewhat cold concrete front steps, I think about the scraggly moss that is drooping from a planter on my right. I reflect back to the first week of June when the mound-oe- moss was brimming with vibrant shades of yellow, red, pink, orange, and white. The bees were frantic in the cool of the morning gathering what were pockets of golden orange, not yellow, pollen on their hind legs. The bees were so loaded with pollen until it was questionable if they would be able to carry their bountiful cargo back to the hive. I pointed the color of the pollen out to my youngest, and how the bee were going to have to put forth Herculean effort to get the goods back home.
Wow! What a difference a couple of months and the harshness of heat and drought makes on a plant. It must be noted that the life span was already known at purchase and the ideal conditions for survival were clearly laid out. But I wonder when is it time to put the barely there plant with its last effort of two and a half blooms out of its misery?
I throw the words of murder and even "euthanasia" around in the plant world and I hope I am not offending anyone. There is no comparison between human life and plant life. But, I think it is always a hard task (though necessary) for a gardener to hurry along the demise of a plant that is no longer viable.
EUTHANASIA is Greek meaning "good death" I hate planting pansies in the winter because I must pull them up, if I want to maintain the beauty of my garden, when it warms up in Spring. My mother fusses at me and says "I know you did not dig up and throw away those beautiful pansies. You could have given them to me if I knew you were going to kill them!" I killed the pansies for merciful reasons. They were not going to survive the increasing rising temps of the impending summer. Yet, there are always pains of guilt.
I look at the moss today and wish that the cold weather would hurry up and come to put the poor plant out of its misery. I don't know, maybe the moss is just as proud of its two and a half blooms as it was when it had 50 plus blooms. And there was a stray bee that lit on the half closed blossom. He did not seem to be on a life sustaining quest for pollen.The plant may be fine, the bee may be fine, it could just be me that is not fine.
I wonder what others think when they look to the left of my doorstep on the way to enter my door? Do they know how excited and thrilled I was to bring that mound of moss home from the garden center? Do they know that I thought about the perfect spot for the moss all the way home? Does anyone know that me and my daughters watched in awe as the bees gathered pollen from the plant and we wondered where this dust would be turned into sugary gold?
To kill or not to kill always tugs at my gardening spirit. What is beauty? And is it all that we truly seek? Maybe I love too deeply too long. I don't know. But I hope I will always value the life that was lived.
Last edited: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:28 pm
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I think you should write books or short stories. You can make people visualize what you are talking about..I am the same way, should I keep it around a while longer or not? This year with a surgery coming for my husband (already over) I chose to end it quickly. But under different circumstances????
I know the feeling. My plants sit there until the very last flower is gone, and MY mother keeps telling me to get things tidied up. Well, I have not got the stomach for it. And should an insect find it, well, it stays even longer...
Although the visitor to your door step may get just a fleeting glance of the flower that you labored over, the memory will last. He may not be aware of what that mound of moss, and it's beauty has meant to you, but he will feel the importance, and remember your door step as a warm, colorful and welcoming place. Even after it's time here is done, the memory of your flower will linger.
I love your writing, and feel that we are kindred spirits. I also visited your website, and your flowers are absolutely gorgeous. I feel that I am the wannabe, and you have a green thumb. I welcome more of your writing. Thank you for sharing with us.
You put is so great You do make it sound ok to put a flower down. I do not put a plant to sleep as I haven't the heart.I watch it wither and die and the stalk turns to brittle dry things before I even think of removing it.I may be cruel
(This is the middle baby)
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