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Megan Rossman, Photography Editor
Photo by JOHN JERNIGAN
How Does Your Garden Grow?
By Megan Rossman
April 11, 2013
Freezing rain may have blanketed the state yesterday, but don’t be fooled: Spring is here. With the exception of some schizoid weather, the hibernation of winter has gradually evolved into the warm, wet days of Oklahoma spring. As the days get longer and the landscape restlessly awakens, I feel sometimes like I’m being roused from a long nap of my own. It’s not too cold, it’s not too hot, and I feel the urge to be outside. The world is growing again, and it’s time to take advantage.
This year, I did something I’ve been meaning to do every spring for a long time: I bought a peony. It’s my favorite flower, but I never see arrangements for sale. So I was left with no choice but to grow it myself. I made my first trip to the TLC nursery in Oklahoma City and selected a potted plant that is supposed to eventually sprout big white blossoms. We’ll see how that goes.
Although I managed to take high school horticulture for two years, I’ve never had a green thumb. Give me a greenhouse and Perlite, and I can propagate plants like nobody’s business. The results get dicey when I start burying things in the ground. My greatest victory was borne many years ago from a packet of marigold seeds that came with a McDonald’s Happy Meal. The flowers formed a moat around my parents’ rosebush, barricading it from assailing slugs. They were heralded a success. My subsequent attempts to cultivate the earth have not been as fruitful.
These days, gardening is something I like the idea of doing but don’t do. My front yard “garden” is populated by weeds, renegade roof shingles, and probably cat feces. I regard my little plot of land mournfully, but the thought of weeding it makes me even sadder. So I dismiss the idea, and that usually cheers me up. I tell myself I’ll get up early one morning and deal with it then.
Fortunately, other people are more productive gardeners than I am. A stroll through my neighborhood reaps more benefits than I can from my own soil. The park is in bloom, and the well-manicured lawns and flower beds of the homes that surround it create a scene that is almost overwhelmingly picturesque. Even with my own dumpy landscaping, there’s no lack of natural beauty to admire here. One day I may contribute. I have my peony now. You’ve got to start somewhere.