I’ve always been a cold weather person, but suffering through March when I all I want to be doing is gardening is making me seriously question my hatred for summer.
I never had a green thumb growing up. I once killed several cacti. But now I love gardening, including all the hard, annoying parts, like digging the whole thing up to loosen the soil, fertilizing with nasty-smelling, ground-up detritus, and even weeding. There is nothing more satisfying than a freshly weeded garden.
Except it’s winter. In Washington. Everything is damp and mossy and lovely but also still too cold to grow most of the things I’d like to. I can appreciate not having to water my plants for a few months, but every day I stare out my window, longing to plan something in all the sad, wet dirt I’ve worked so hard to fortify. I took my backyard from a wild mess to something I am reasonably pleased with–that’s an achievement for a perfectionist, and I’ll never stop feeling triumphant for always having fresh herbs I grew myself on hand, nor for the one-foot tall rosebush that has since grown to be a sprawling giant that threatens guests with its long arms.
A couple more months, that’s all. In the meantime, here’s a drabble.
LES FLEURS DU MAL
French for “the flowers of evil,” as well as a book of poetry by Charles Baudelaire.
Nell hums to herself as she waters her garden, whispering words of encouragement to each twig, stem, and bud. She thanks the lavender before pinching its flowers between her fingers. Lavender for love, she thinks, jasmine for prophecy, and mugwort for protection.
The garden thrives under her care, even the dark, twisted plants at the corner. These she cares for as well, murmuring in her musical voice. She doesn’t touch the belladonna, nor the henbane, nor the mandrake, but she sprinkles fertilizer at their roots anyway. Each serves more than one purpose, and she never knows when they’ll be needed.