In the 10th grade, I failed my Geometry final.
I didn’t fail the class, but it was a sore insult (for me, the perfectionist) to fail anything, even just a test.
I studied, as always. I just stink at Geometry. It bores me – why should I have to prove my answer? It’s either right or wrong. Why do I have to prove how I got there? Yawn. I had a very bad attitude about Geometry (which probably didn’t help my test-taking ability).
I remember the day I found out I failed. My mom picked me up after school, as usual, and found me crying on the sidewalk. I was devastated. I had worked REALLY, REALLY hard this time. I had studied for hours.
And I still failed.
I don’t like failing. Never have.
I crawled, bawling, into her big, blue Oldsmobile, and set up a grand wail of despair.
Mom, not being a math whiz herself, was duly sympathetic.
There’s only one thing to do, she chirped.
Where are we going? I asked.
You’ll see. It will make you feel better.
We pulled up in front of her favorite plant nursery.
The nursery? Really?
Really. Let’s go.
We went through the chain link fence into that little, sun-shiny bit of paradise. Under their yellow awning, rows upon rows of petunias and pansies smiled up at us. Gerberas and geraniums and snapdragons. Penstamon, lobelia, agapanthus (her favorite) and hundreds more. Annuals and perennials and everything in between – I found out quickly, that day: you can’t be sad in a garden. You just can’t. Flowers are just too friendly for that.
I don’t remember anything else about that day except that I did feel better. She always said that there’s something about being around all those plants and flowers that makes everything else disappear. I came by my love of gardening honestly - my mother taught me.
Even now, if I’ve got an hour to kill or I’m just feeling blue, I head over to Summerswinds and wander around for a while.
I love living in California!
I love it that autumn happens in December, that the bulbs come up in January, and that really, winter doesn't exist. We have Spring, Summer and The Rainy Season. (Ok, most years it's a rainy season. Maybe not this one. Or maybe, not yet.)
I love it that my roses are still blooming at Christmas. I love it that we can, from time to time, wear shorts and flip-flops in January, and we're still eating our CSA strawberries in October.
If you're looking for a little stress-relief, or just some garden inspiration, stop by in Campbell. They are stocking up daily on spring flowers and foliage, their pottery selection is to die for, and they are bringing in racks and racks of yummy summer treats every week. But don't be in a rush! Our last frost date around here is April 15. Keep any seedlings protected for another four weeks...