Saturday, May 23, 2009

Empowered and Connected

(Written on Mother’s Day)

That’s how I feel now, today, at this moment. It’s a little after 6am on Mother’s Day. It’s pleasantly cool and I’m enjoying my second cup of coffee on the balcony. I didn’t actually finish the first one – the dog did – which is why I am already on cup number two.

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Why do I feel empowered and connected? Let’s take connected first. I got my hands in soil again. I have 6 tomato plants, a ton of basil, some lettuce, a pot of herbs, some morning glory and moon flower vines in pots on my balcony. They join the pink geranium OD got me for Mother’s Day (Texter got me WOW cards, but that’s another story). And my two orchids (one of which leapt off my third floor railing and survived), the clivia given to me by a retired coworker and the ever suffering aloe vera plant.

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All my tomato plants have blooms on the (or emerging blooms). My Sweet Million, which I had potted ahead of everyone else, is already about 2 feet fall (it’s now 3 feet). I do have to say that Miracle Grow potting soil rock. It might not be in keeping with being totally organic, but it does seem to work. Red Cherry, as I call her, is sharing a pot with a morning glory and moonflower. I have this vision of the vines up one corner of the balcony with blue and white appearing and disappearing during the day.

Two of the tomatoes are my little Red Robins. They’ll only get about 8 inches tall, but they are covered in blooms – little Christmas trees in the making. I gave one to the downstairs neighbor to pre-apologize for any soil or water which might leak through from my balcony. They have a little girl who I though might like to watch it make tomatoes. One Red Robin is in a 5 gallon bucket with basil. The other is on the railing in it’s own little pot. (Update – the Red Robin in it’s own pot is now on the window ledge in the kitchen with 2 baby tomatoes on it.)

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I have a Sungold in another pot. A nice, consistent producer of yellow cherry tomatoes.

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My other two tomatoes are actually some experimental dwarf tomatoes my tomato guy has developed. One, Emerald Giant, is, as it’s name implies, a green tomato when ripe. And big ones. On a three foot tall plant. The other, Rosella Crimson, is a red tomato. These dwarf plants are only suppose to get 3 feet tall (no staking) and have normal, large tomatoes, with good production. We will see. They are both sharing space in their pots with “Basil”…he gets around.

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I have lavender, lemon balm, parsley, rosemary and sage in a pot together. Lavender may be moved when my thyme (which is in another container) gets bigger. There is some cinnamon and lemon basil coming along. Also a couple of chive plants.

So I sit now and fiddle with the plants and watch my balcony go green. I can walk outside an brush my hands over the herbs and get a wonderful fragrance. I can stick my hands in “dirt”. I feel complete when I garden. I feel my connection to the rest of the world, seen and unseen, when I can get my hands on dirt and plants. The soil "grounds" me and calms me. It's hard to be angry, brooding, depressed when you brush your hand over a basil and come away with that wonderful smell. I am "connected" and complete with my plants.

Oops, need to pick some lettuce. Empowered comes next.

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