Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Sleeping Peas

The garden is rife with opportunities to anthropomorphize. The plants are really thirsty, they reach for the sun and leap out of the ground, and they pout. We like to think of our gardens in terms we understand.

Pea planting this last weekend (late, I know) allowed me a chance to indulge one of my favorite plants-as-human fantasies. I imagine the seeds tucked in a bed of rich soil, sleeping and dreaming of spring. The sun will come and warm the soil. The seeds will swell and sprout and the cycle will begin again.

And this is happening all over the garden. Perennials that appear dead aboveground are still hibernating in the earth, with pale tiny leaves and shoots. Fruit buds on trees are tightly closed but all manner of hormonal changes are taking place as the days grow longer and temperatures begin to moderate. Tomato seeds, little more than flakes when planted, will imbibe water, absorb heat and soon push out a radicle and cotyledons.

Last night a dusting of wet snow fell on the garden. As I lay under blankets in the pre-dawn darkness I thought about my newly planted seeds under their own rich blankets of compost and snow, waiting out the capricious early spring weather, waiting and ready to go.

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