Day 182: respect your elders

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year

Nigella damascena  (love-in-a-mist), taking care of business, growing the next generation. R-E-S-P-E-C-T – take care (TCB)…

Nigella damascena (love-in-a-mist), taking care of business, growing the next generation. R-E-S-P-E-C-T – take care (TCB)…

I like to spare a thought for the biennial and annual plants I’m pulling out. They’ve put on their floral show and now, presumably, are good for nothing but the compost (which, as it turns out, is quite an honourable destination, but that’s another story). Some, such as the nigella, are right in the middle of producing seed just now, but I could really do with the space and I decide to compromise by pulling some while leaving others to fully ripen. Each scattered seed is a tiny escape-pod sent out into the universe, programmed with all the information necessary for the next generation to find fertile ground and start again. Every one of these exhausted, browning plants is a miracle demanding our respect and awe – these are the mothers growing the next generation, keeping them safe through wind and rain and drought and away from clumsy gardeners with their happy, browsing dogs, and I’m wrenching them from the soil before bunging them upside-down into a recycled plastic trug. I can’t bring myself, here at least, to clear-fell an area of its mature citizens, so I leave a lot behind, and the new gets planted in among the old. You know when you’re gardening with a light touch, because you feel your neighbours are judging you. And you don’t give a damn. 


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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.

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