The pacasandra had choked out everything on the corner leading to the porch. Frantic, I took to my steel rake to dig out, searching to find the frail giant poppies which had survived a mindless mow-over years ago, now desperately needing sun to flourish.
Thank God, there it was. The poppy sapling unearthed, I kept up my frenetic pace — and, NO! — tore one poppy leaf. Then, inexplicably, another. This was not happening. Not this.
I called Stan’s. Will was so kind. He said if even some portion of one leaf survived my onslaught, the poppy could still take sun and bloom. I went back, to look. Yes; one leaf remained, as did the stem, still curled above the soil edge ready to open. I cleared about five inches around and, following Will’s advice, stuck a couple nitrogen spikes into the dirt to help the poppy along.
Then, sun setting, I went inside.
This morning, early for me, I was outside by 10:15. My first visit: the poppy patch. Aghast, I could not believe my eyes; there was NO SIGN of the sprout, at all – and, the dirt looked fresh, as if somebody or some creature had deliberately and completely c.o.v.e.r.e.d. it.
A walking dog? A feral cat? A skunk? Kids?
My fingers small but deft, they scrambled around in that spot, desperately hoping. Finally, the frail sprig emerged – still rooted, it’s one remaining leaf weighed down by soil. Dusting it gently, I spoke to it, righting the stem of the leaf.
Then, I set to work. Running to the backyard, grabbing three white picket fence pieces intended for the raspberry patch, SOMETHING had to protect this flowering treasure! In minutes, I had them hammered around the border of the sidewalk corner leading to the porch. Then, the Cutco scissors, to trim back even more of that choking pacasandra.
Here’s hoping people with their walking dogs have both mercy and respect. There’s already a dead spot, right at the corner, and another up close to the hydrangea around the side of the porch. I’ve rapped on the window at the offender, and actually spoken to him. He wears a brimmed hat, and walks a white toy poodle. The guy snarked at me, calling me Karen, like some lowlife scumbag.
How can we maintain what we love, with attitudes like this among neighbors? What if somebody were to threaten his poodle? I love dogs; I don’t love all dog owners. It’s really hard for me to forgive people. Life is a challenge, every day.
But, it’s spring, for God’s sake. Let’s live, LET live, and treat every living thing – including what grows on the land belonging to those other than ourselves – with enduring care. If we do, then the whole earth really will be ours to share and enjoy.
Copyright 5/5/23 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. Photo also that of the author, whose name appears above this line. Please respect original material, written and captured by actual living human beings.