Gardening and The End of the World.


Twenty years ago, I planted my gardens and in the past four years have expanded them. . They surround my home, touching most of all sides of the lot. I grow a variety of things, both vegetables and flowers… and most years I invest heavily in rich soil, new seeds, starters and lots of water. I trim leaves and branches to provide sunlight…

I even play music for the gardens.  492ef5d189f28ae678fd96be17854718--edvard-munch-beaux-arts

I love planting seeds and watching them grow into peppers, melons, tomatoes, pumpkins, gourds, squash, carrots, onions, corn and spices. I plant lots of flowers on all sides, but especially enjoy sunflowers out front by the street and heavenly-blue morning glories anywhere they might want to climb. This last summer I planted a new rose.


Now it is winter. I’ve brought in lots of plants to save them from the early-freezing. The thrill of growth is gone…

When November had barely started, Missoula had already experienced several inches of snow.  Curious and dangerous…

It’s like we’re slippin’ into darkness…


I counted the other day and have 100 plants in the main library office, the kitchen, the bathroom, reading room and bedroom. The snow and melting snow continue. Even Shylow the service dog doesn’t want to go out in the gloom and bogs. Now in early December, the snow is covering up the mess. 

cropped-scatter-joyNow I’m collecting my thoughts, reading, writing and enjoying the onset of winter. I’ve been thinking about my sunflowers and morning glories. They have been shrinking. Two years ago, the “face” on the biggest sunflower was 20″ across and it was 13 foot off the ground. I did not have many morning glories planted, but that one row produced hundreds of flowers.

Last year the sunflowers were shorter so I planted more seeds and more varieties of seed ingersoll2this year. Along with hundreds of sunflowers. I started at least one hundred morning glories among all the gardens. But this has been a rough year.
Last year we lost plants to hailstorms in the middle of spring. This year came wildfires.

Most of the tomatoes this year were still green at the first freeze… in October. And my biggest sunflower was 7 foot tall with a blossom of seeds plus petals… no more than ten inches across. Perhaps the growing was stunted because of smoke from firestorms raging across several states most of summer. We are told these storms are anomalies… but they sure made lots of smoke. Fire consumed something like 8 million acres this year, blotting out the sun for weeks.

I saw less than a dozen morning glories blossom. And the gardens produced six pumpkins instead of dozens. Already longing for spring.

Today I was reading the end of “Earth is the Strangest Planet.” (From my bathtub library) The last story was written by Robert Silverberg, the editor of these ten stories of science fiction. Silverberg’s tale is called “When We Went to See the End of the World.”

“The next morning the Sunday paper wasn’t delivered because of the Bridge Authority rainy4strike, and the radio said the mutant amoebas were proving harder to eliminate than originally anticipated.  They were spreading into Lake Superior and everyone in the region would have to boil all drinking water.

Nick and Jane discussed where they would go for their next vacation. “What about going to see the end of the world all over again?” Jane suggested, and Nick laughed quite a good deal.

The Wordsmith Collection:  Writing & Creative Arts

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