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.