ONE MILLION DAISIESBy Marilyn Kendall
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million daisies have invaded my mother’s garden. They grow rampant among the phlox and delphinium, the lilies and the roses. She doesn’t want their scraggly disorder in her picture-perfect beds, but she cannot stand to kill anything, especially a flower. In her stronger—or weaker—moments she attempts to eradicate them, but they always find their way back into her garden. Into her heart.
On this early morning of my summer visit, while my mother sleeps, I am deadheading these daisies—a million times a million of them, it seems—and thinking of her. At 86, she is still sturdy, and stalwart—and stubborn, at times. She wants the flowers but not their mess, so I must tread carefully in her beloved garden.
I hate this job. Capture a dead bloom, separate it from its confederates, and follow its stem down several inches (so the stub won’t show), taking care not to cut too many leaves and deplete the plant. Then snip, toss the stem into the refuse bin, find another, and start again. I mustn’t falter in my attention and sacrifice a live bloom.
Snip, snip, snip. I must have cut ten thousand at least. I look the length of the garden at the multitudes remaining. After half an hour, the beauty of the early morning no longer compensates for my aching back. I stand. She doesn’t need all these, I think. Why not just pull half out by their roots? Or cut the old heads by the fistful, rather than singly? No one would notice from a few feet away.
But I know I won’t, and I wonder why. My mother doesn’t expect this fussiness. Somehow, without reason, I expect it for her, knowing how she loves every petal and leaf. Just as she loved her children, I suddenly reflect: perfectly, proudly, with attention to every detail, every emotion, every need. In spite of our flaws. I am struck by the thought: If my mother didn’t love daisies, would she have loved me so well?
Back on my knees, I recall the lunches packed, the clothes sewed, the hair curled, the ruffles ironed. I think of the eons of advice, of comfort, of concern. I snip and I count. Snip and count. The morning passes.
A million daisies may not be enough.
I tried to get into the hobby of gardening recently. I loved it until one day in my garden after removing weeds I saw the soil move by itself! I’m very superstitious and I fear that my house has being built on an ancient burial ground. I’m very scarred to go out into the garden now and I’m afraid something terrible will happen such as zombies. It makes it hard to sleep at night. I’m being very serious, how can I overcome this?
Sounds like you disturbed an earthworm or some other (very normal/natural) critter in the soil. Best advice is to just get back out there & get to know your local plants & animals. Get back in the saddle, so to speak.
I’m wanting to do some gardening crafts this spring and the only thing i can think of to do is some stepping stones (i know how to do these). I don’t have a lot of money to spend, but i’m wanting cute,easy and cheap ideas to help spruce up my yard.
thanks for your input!
little homemade signs made out of scrap lumber are really cool that say things like Please dont eat the daisey’s or Welcome friends or You can find me in the garden or peck peck here peck peck there my feathered friends are everywhere or rise and shine it’s flower time oh there are so many I make a few homade clay pots to they are cheep and they last for a few years you would be surprised what you can do with a few bottles of craft paint and a old tooth brush or even a sponge you just have to play and have FUN-OH and I like bird houses too!
I don’t have enough land to own a farm or any large scale cultivation project. My original idea was to grow bonsai trees, but a 4 year old tree goes for $20. I don’t see how anyone in the world can make any sustainable income off of that.
I can grow anything from cacti to flowers to a full blown tree (don’t have enough space for a tree).
Any ideas on how I can turn my gardening ability into a business?
You didn’t say how much space you do have but you might consider herbs. Many of them don’t take a lot of space and fresh ones are very popular.
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I am new to the whole gardening thing and i just planted 4 yellow tomato plants. Do you have any gardening tips?
This is what you want to do… find a mentor. A neighbor, a friend, a relative, someone who lives near you and is a green thumb. Not only will they give you great advice geared towards your climate zone, they will probably also give you all kinds of clippings and plantings to use in your own garden!
Besides insect repellent lotions or sprays. Is there anything further I should use to minimize insect bites? Mosquitoes are ramped in my area. And now that the weather is getting warmer, I’d like to some pruning and gardening. Is there anything additional I should do to protect myself and dear daughter?
Even if it’s a little warm, you would be more protected by wearing long-sleeve shirts and jeans instead of shorts. Also, to protect yourselves from the sun, wear gardening hats to shade your face and head. If you’re gardening, it’s always a good idea to wear gardening gloves. You might also want to not garden during the hottest part of the day, when mosquitoes are more lkely to bite.
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already i’m kind of sore from planting and weeding. it’s so friggin chilly out even though a few days ago it was warm. How do i keep from getting bored by gardening? i enjoy it but sometime it leave me feeling jaded.
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