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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Life's Lessons from the Garden

The life of a garden has ups and downs. There are moments when everything flowers together and the garden seems to sing. You walk out there and every plant shouts out melodious "good mornings". They have enough to eat, enough to drink, a wonderful relationship with me, and they are not sick.

Then there are moments when disasters strike. Troubles sweep through the garden and all the plants are stressed and unhappy. Plants fall sick. They die. Then seeds sprout and life begins anew. And when they return, they're always ever so smiley and cheerful if they have enough to eat, to drink and see me everyday. Plants always move on and grow towards a better day. No matter what happens.

That is much better than what I am capable of. Today, I realized that an entire section of my garden was infested with soil mealies. 2 pots of milk thistle. 4 pots of lady's finger. 4 troughs of echinacea. 2 troughs of batavia salad. 1 pot of sage. The infestation had taken hold so strongly that I emptied all the pots, threw all the plants and microwaved all the soil.

In the bigger scheme of things, these are small enough losses. I have taken healthy stem cuttings and they will all re-establish themselves when I buy new soil and replant them. Yet, I mourn and feel like crying. I am heartbroken to have to throw the apparently healthy looking plants but I know that the cancerous soil mealies will bring a slow and painful death to all of them. There are too many to treat and the infestation is too far gone to nurse. Worse, the soil mealies will spread to the other sections of my garden. And that must not happen.

So, I kill them myself... and then I cry.

11 comments:

Blur Ting said...

Oh you poor thing! And the poor once-healthy plants. A section of my garden is now infested too. My patio is getting too shady at this time of the year because the apartment block casts it's shadow on my patio all day long. It gets so discouraging every now and then. I feel like I am having winter in my garden too.

I hope the bugs get zapped in the oven and the problem is resolved once and for all. I must admit it is a first time I have heard of people microwaving gardening soil :-)

plantsstories said...

I know how you feel. My plants have been infested with pests for the longest time.

I hope your cuttings strike and give you new and healthier plants!

petunialee said...

Blur Ting... heh heh, with all the land that you have, one would need a mighty big microwave oven to sterilize the soil!!

Oh... it happens when too shady is it? I didn't know that. For me too, it is the section that gets half day instead of full day sun.

petunialee said...

Sky, thank you. I popped them all into hydroponics nutrient solution. I hope they root better that way.

The Real Mother Hen said...

Came here from Blur Ting, you're so sweet to send her mom a cake, you've a good heart, and this pot proves that.

plantsstories said...

I think hydroponics might not help with rooting at all, actually. Maybe you should try rooting hormone (or honey) instead. Or even seaweed extract. Yups.

petunialee said...

Thanks so much MH! Good to have you here!

Fresh Fry aka 福星 said...

i swing by from Blur Ting's too, have been peeping around randomly but i speak up today. heh.

don't be too sad at the plants (i know, abit late, sorry). there're things for u to look forward to tomorrow! =)))

petunialee said...

Hey Fry, thanks for coming by! And thanks for your kind words. I've replanted new seeds and am feeling quite a lot more consoled now.

M said...

You know what I see instead - someone of strength - strong enough to take decisive action to cut her losses, instead of wallowing in despair. So don't look at what you've lost, but instead - at what you've saved. Those other plants in other planters and sectors - they must be counting their lucky stars.

So be assured, if you can (and take comfort, which you must) that you did the right thing, even if Mexican ambassadors might tell you otherwise.

petunialee said...

Gee thanks Mark... look at what I have saved. That makes me feel A LOT better!!