The Weekly Gardener 1

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Christmas Stories

For the Love of Starfish

Tree Ornament

It snowed for Christmas, large fluffy flakes that wove a thin blanket on the ground. It's getting really cold, so the snow didn't melt, even in the bright sunshine that followed.

Every year at this time I like to make a wish for good things to come, for health, abundance, peace and the happiness of all.

After being in this life for more years that I care to acknowledge, there is a lingering sadness associated with these wishes. They always remind me of the story about the million starfish stranded on the beach and the wasted effort of trying to return them to the sea, and yet I realize that if any of these wishes were granted, even a single one, all life would be better for the trying, so I'm throwing my starfish back. Again.

Of course this is the dust of fairy tales and I should be grown up enough not to dwell on it for purpose, but there is a reason why those fairy tales exist, and lasted through centuries of history. How lost would we be without them and how little would get accomplished without the madness of people who insist on doing impossible things.

With that in mind I dedicate the coming year, and hopefully the many years after that, to wildly unreasonable expectations and the love of starfish.

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Gardener Angels

Angel

Whether you believe in angels or not, we're all acquainted with the wealth of stories that evolved from the faith in their existence.

According to tradition, an angel's most important duty is to protect. What? Basically everything: people, places, endeavors, universes, time, events that haven't happened yet, you name it, there is an angel in charge. For those of us blessed with a green thumb, the icing on the cake are the gardener angels, whose task is to oversee the growth of plants and ensure they thrive and multiply over many seasons.

This probably explains the popularity of angel statuary in gardens large and small and the feeling of serenity that comes upon us when we discover them suddenly, half hidden by luxurious plant growth.

Next time you're at wit's end about that dry patch in the shade where nothing seems to grow, there is comfort in the knowledge that specialized help is available.

So then, you ask, if this is so, why hasn't my garden turned into the paradise I always dreamed of? Sadly, like it is with most interactive systems, the answer is usually operator error. Besides, the garden is always doing splendidly with or without the gardener's input, just not in the manner they want it to.