OLD-FASHIONED

I do not think I am really a 21st century person. I admit I enjoy using my computer,
even though there are still panic times when I scream for help because it will ask me
something and I have no clue how to answer. And I need written step by step directions
to be able to do any task with the silly thing that I do not do on a daily basis. So I
am far from computer literate.

But put me in the garden, give me a rake and a few simple tools, then stand back and
watch me go!! I have not always worked with plants. I came to it after we moved here
and began to slowly rescue this garden from years of neglect. I always worked with
animals…scared and sick critters at two different veterinary clinics, horses on a
breeding farm. I never really understood the attraction to handling green things until
I got here and discovered the magic of tending living beings that have their roots deep
in the Earth.

Most of the plants and trees were here when we arrived: figs, roses, that wonderful old
lime tree, oranges, royal lemon, pomegranate, sapote, pirul, cactus, aloe vera. But we
have added quite a few things too: avocado, another lime tree (supposedly seedless….
we might find out about that for sure this year, it is flowering for the first time
ever), mandarin orange, poinsettia, more roses, a lima, ciruela, bamboo, geraniums, and
my favorite flower here, the dormilona, what I call my Max Flower. It is like a daisy
but opens every morning for the sun, then shuts itself up every night, which is how it
got its name of dormilona, which means sleepyhead.

Max comes in lovely colors. Some bushes give all solid orange or yellow flowers. Others
offer two-toned blooms, maybe magenta around the outer edges of the petals and yellow
along the inner parts. One plant got a little crazy its first year: in among all of
the magenta flowers was one split right down the middle with one half all yellow and
the other half all purple. I guess you never know what goes on in the garden at night
when all the good little Max Flowers are supposed to be sleeping!

I’ve been learning to be a gardener for four years now. I know it is a lifetime study
subject and I will be happy to do my homework. I love to feel like I am helping these
plants thrive. I am always thrilled when any seed we plant comes up….beans, potatoes,
corn (OH, OUR CORN HAS COME UP!! It is two inches or so high and SO CUTE!!). I love to
work hard in the earth and then pick oranges and royal lemons from our happy trees,
make myself a glass of the most refreshing juice ever, and relax in my favorite spot
under one of the sapote trees. Nope, definitely not a 21st century person. All I need
now is a horse!

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