“All the world's a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.”
We all star in our own show, but I’m not quite ready to perform. Instead, I’m all, like, I need to spend every waking hour in the backyard getting dirt beneath my fingernails, puttering, playing, propagating, potting. It’s not mere gardening – it’s therapy. And it’s just what I need at this stage in life, this season of the year. This is no autumnal time to slow down and take stock. This is the time to throw your arms in a wide embrace, to spin around until you fall down on the grass, and look up and watch the blue sky spin.
I’m perfectly aware that this isn’t a race. There’s no final exam with a prize to the first one who arrives at the solution. Most of the year, I try to teach myself to slow down, and the garden is the place I try to learn this lesson. This is the one time a year however, when I can justify hurrying, there’s so much to do. The show is on!
I’m also perfectly aware that there are bad things out there, lurking in the underbrush to trip me up. Not all the bad things lurk either. Some are right in my face. Like the Eucalyptus Redgum Lerp Psyllids that seem to be everywhere. The lerp (don’t you love that name?) is all over the US Southwest and it’s described as “plant-juice sucking homopterans in the insect family Psyllidae. Redgum lerp psyllid nymphs (immatures) form a cover called a "lerp," which is a small white, hemispherical cap composed of solidified honeydew and wax. Lerps on leaves can be up to about 1/8 inch in diameter and 1/12 inch tall and resemble an armored scale.” I don’t have to go to a website to find a picture. These are from my back yard. Mmmmm, lerps.
And if it’s not lerps, its something else. The second picture is from the front driveway. It turn out that “Adult Eucalyptus trees in California are attacked by at least 14 other introduced insects” and that “drought stress increases damage to trees from both lerp psyllids and eucalyptus longhorned borers”. Mmmmm, borers.
Life is more than a stage, and I’m more than a player. It’s a jungle out here, and I’m the intrepid gardener determined to oppose the forces of villainous Nature aligned against me by wading into the war zone and keeping hope – and plants - alive. I’m also determined to continue mixing metaphors of gardens, stages and wars in this blog. If it’s inside my head, then it ends up here sooner or later, in a big stew of images, thoughts and ideas. Why should my garden and I be any less desperately unrehearsed than the rest of mankind?