A Straw Bale Garden Was Born Today…
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
This evening I began putting plants in my straw bales. This is ‘the’ garden to have if you aren’t into working with a shovel, rake, hoe… or you can’t do heavy work. All you do is open the straw up, put some potting soil in the hole…. or place the biodegradable cup of soil with the plant… into the hole.
I bought a colorful pair of gardening gloves to wear while placing plants into the straw… I began ‘planting‘ without them… my fingernails had dirt under them! It’s been since ‘before’ Tommy died, that I planted flowers. I couldn’t until… today.
Today, I went to Walmart to purchase plants, both vegetable and flowers. On the way there, I was in an area of Wake Forest where for a short time one could pretend they are in the mountains… up on a big hill sitting at the stoplight. I was feeling excited, happy that I was going to actually begin a ‘garden’.
Out of the blue… my happiness was crushed by a heavy weight. It felt like someone threw an invisible thick blanket over me, separating me from … happiness. Happiness, looking forward to planting flowers.
I felt the terrible grief of Tommy being gone… never going to come back. I began crying inside, trying to hold the tears back… so, when I went into Walmart… I wouldn’t look like I’d been crying. I began making crying sounds, I couldn’t breathe… all the while trying to hold the tears back.
Tommy’s gone… Tommy’s gone… went through my mind. While I sat at that stoplight ‘looking out from the mountain’ I was on… I saw beautiful trees, buildings, and bright sunshine all around me. I was seeing such beauty as… I was experiencing something so… awful.
All I wanted to do was to lay down, rub my forehead with my hands. Close my eyes, go to sleep … not feel anything. Will the grief stay, will it leave me in a little while? I wondered, because ‘before’ I had felt such happiness.
I made it to Walmart, parked near the stacks of potting soil. I got out of the pickup, began walking through all the gardening supplies.
I looked at stacks of bags full of sand… some was pink, some was green. Amazing, I’d never seen bags so big… full of colored sands for children to play in… in their sandpiles. Wouldn’t I had been the happiest little girl to play in … colored sand!
I walked by stepping stones, border stones, all kinds of stone … then, I began getting to the plants.
I chose Sweet Mint (I love mint plants… I used to have so much of it growing when I used to live in the mountains). I chose several varieties of tomatoes, French Marigolds, Orange Bell Pepper, Cucumber plants. I can’t remember all I chose…
I looked at the packages of seeds, bought vegetable and flower seeds. I found Cosmos… one of my favorite flowers. I got Sunflowers, and more Marigolds in seed form. These are happy flowers. I found a pack of Daisy seeds… they reminded me of my mother… her first name was ‘Daisy’.
I went to the Miracle Gro section, chose a Miracle Gro Liquidfeed system to go on the end of the pretty orange garden hose that I picked. It’s a happy-shiny soft orange! :)))
On the way home, I stopped at Arby’s to order a roast beef sandwich… I sat there with grief in my heart. I ate that sandwich, never tasting the flavor… grief affected me so deeply. I didn’t feel good, all I wanted to do was to get home. Just please be at home…
Finally… I was home. I came inside after placing the plants beside the straw. I debated on laying down with my grief… or to go outside to… garden. Skip called me, and I told him what had happened to me. He wondered what triggered it…. I didn’t know.
I told him I was fine now, and when I turned my cellphone off, I headed outside. I began playing with the plants, and before I knew it… my straw bale garden became ‘real’… it’s officially a ‘Straw Bale Garden’… now. :)))
Not only that… I got past the ‘grieving spell’ this time. I’m so thankful… I didn’t know how long it would take. I’m afraid, dread being overwhelmed with grief like that…. so much time can go by before I’m alright again. Thankfully… I was smiling again when I stood back to admire my … Straw Bale Garden! Everything is… alright! :)))