Sowing Seeds

Still
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I have a rule for my garden this year. I won’t allow myself to buy any seeds.

And I am a seedaholic.

I simply can’t resist those weightless envelopes with photos of beautiful flowers. Each package promises so much: life, growth, acres of blossoms.

I can spend hours in my imaginary garden, designing, digging, planting. But somehow my actual garden never seems to reap the benefits of my imagination. The back of the seed packages offer too many suggestions for growing—soil must be warm, seeds need light to germinate, start outdoors before last frost (how do I know when the last frost will occur?).

So there sit my seeds, silently waiting for me to open their packages and let in the light, while I fight the flowers that I haven’t planted. Have you noticed that you never find dandelion seeds for sale? Quack grass? They do just fine without cultivation.

I’d like to be a little more like a weed. Weeds scatter their seeds with abandon. They don’t care where they land. They make do with what they’ve got. They need no pampering to grow. However many times you pull them up, they sprout again. There’s no sissifying a weed seed, no instructions about damping off and keeping it moist.

Too often in my life I keep my seeds in packages where they slowly grow stale and lose their vitality. I keep waiting for the perfect spot or richer soil, a nicer day, better planting conditions. Whatever it is I’m waiting for may never happen. I might as well just paste those packages on a piece of paper and hang them on the wall. At least I’d be able to look at them every day.

When will the conditions be perfect for my flower seeds? Never. And I’ll never get my garden just right. But I wonder if I opened all those packages and scattered the seeds in bare spots, well, at least they’d have a chance, wouldn’t they? More of a chance than I’m giving them now.

I think that for this growing season, I’m going to try it. Maybe I’ll try it in my life as well—look for the gifts I’m keeping neatly packaged. I’ll throw them to the wind and see where they land.

A gardener went out to sow her seed . . .

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