After the rains, we saw, again, why they call this “spring”. One day, the trees have little leaves on them and the grass is greening up. Next day, foomph! We’re up to our eyeballs in foliage.

I keep trying to get a good picture of the coral bells, but the flowers are so tiny, I can’t get a good picsh with a PHD camera. I think this is probably the best I’m going to be able to do. This particular plant has quite a history–as plants go. A friend gave us the start. We planted it in the flower garden. After a couple of years, Charlie got tired of messing with the flower garden and decided to mow it down. I dug up the coral bells and, in a Martha Stewart moment, made a planter for it thusly: I covered the bottom of a roasting tray with rounded pebbles, put a mound of dirt on one end, and tucked the coral bells, with as much root and dirt as I could dig up with it, on the mound. I had it on the dining room table for two or three years. After the first year, it didn’t bloom, but the foliage was always pretty. One Grandson and I staged many a superhero battle with little action figures in that terrain. Then Charlie built the planter boxes outside the back door, and I transferred the plant to one of them. It likes it there.

Here is a better picture of Charlie’s hosta garden in the front. As I said, the houndbaffles don’t add much to the look of it, and don’t baffle the hound much. Sticks and stones interspersed with the plantings don’t deter him. An internet friend suggested watering it with manure tea, but I think that would just make him stinky as well as pesty. If I can catch him in the flowers, I can say, very sternly, “Garden, Joe! Garden!” and he’ll slink out. He gets back in when my back is turned, though. Kids!

I’m almost ready to publish THE KING OF CHEROKEE CREEK. I’m very excited about it. So is Bud. He always wants to weasel into anything I write. Maybe this will satisfy him, to have a book all of his own.

If it does, I’ll miss him.

MA

writing prompt: Write a flash story (500 words or fewer) centered around a plant or a garden, or outline a longer story with that element.

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