The first time gardener

DaffodilHeuston, we have a daffodil! One single, lone daffodil. It popped out of the earth like a curious alien and unfolded its golden shade last week, the sole survivor of my first questionable gardening experiment, which involved the hurried planting of half-sprouted forgotten bulbs in early April. That was never going to be a downright success, which makes that lone daffodil a symbol of hope for my project of the year: to grow a veggie garden.

A proper garden with flowers and vegetables, which I can magnanimously pick when visitors drop by on bicycles with wicker baskets and rustle into healthy soups and tasty sides to serve to friends and family. Aaah, I can picture myself already come September, rosy-cheeked in a spotty blue apron and my hair in an effortlessly chic bun, picking spotless carrots out of the ground with one hand and feeding the birds with the other. A modern day Cinderella without the stress of the Ball. And the mice.

My history with plants would suggest a different autumnal picture however. With a trail of dead foliage of all kinds in my wake (including a cactus – who kills cacti for Christ’s sake?), September is more likely to find me ordering take-away in my dressing gown, muttering curses under my breath as the pouring rain drags rivers of barren upturned muck down my garden path.

Nevertheless, at this time, we have a daffodil. One single daffodil, lonely as Wordsworth’s proverbial cloud. They’re supposed to hang out in crowds, daffodils aren’t they? And this one is alone. It’s really only half a daffodil, as it sprouted entirely without leaves. A single stem with a buttercup yellow head and no foliage of any kind. Its neighbour however sprouted with a full set of leaves, minus flower. If I put them together, tadam, I have one whole flower. It’s like an Ikea project – for best results, assemble yourself.

Now, if only the vegetables in the garden came with instructions I’d be sorted. I kind of fancy myself in that blue spotty apron but when I take a peek at the carrots, parsnips and chard, it’s not looking good. Home-made mud-pies, anyone?

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About monicaheck
Monica Heck is a bilingual freelance writer and journalist based in Dublin, Ireland.

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