The tame, too smug, I cry;
There’s no adventure in security;
Yet still my little garden craft I ply,
Mulch, hoe, and water when the ground is dry…
The Garden; 1948
The other day I was looking up odds and ends when I came across a word I have never heard. It’s a word that has been rolling around in my mind for days as we are in desperate need of it. Turgid, or swollen in reference to plants means they have a healthy amount of water hydrating their cells. Imagine a plant whose leaves are plump and stand upright they way they ought to. That is turgidity.
Yesterday, I did something rather peculiar. It hasn’t really rained here for weeks and the trees are beginning to droop. Everything is looking rather dull and dry. Even my precious maple my husband planted as my Mother’s day gift is looking sad.
Anyway, I was doing my daily watering of the garden when it struck me how dehydrated my neighbor’s lilac bush looked. Its bright green leaves had lost their luster and they drooped and sagged with drought.
My neighbor rents. They keep to themselves mostly. We hardly speak. But through my keen observation I know they rarely look at that end of the house. They do the bare minimum to take care of the old plants surrounding the property. Funnily enough, the rose bushes and iris’s looked quite healthy and turgid, but the grand lilac bush of many years was struggling.
(Above: My neighbor’s neglected rose bush rests its arm on their old meter.)
A thought came to my mind as I stood watering my own plants, and a sly smile creep upon my face. Stealthily I crept over and threw my hose under its dehydrated branches – turning it on full blast. I left it there for a moment while I meandered about, falsely pondering my own precious flowers.
Despite my efforts to be cool however, I imagined her watching my every move from her kitchen window wondering what the hell I was doing, and wishing I’d mind my own business.
(Above: My neighbor’s lilac the morning after I gave it a douse of water. As you can see it could use a little more.)
But I believe her lilac bush is my business. It’s all I see out my kitchen window and its large green leaves distract from the poorly painted black and white motif of their asbestos siding. I thought for sure it might die and they would neglect to tear it out for years – leaving it in the ground to rot and turn brown; much to my sorrow.
I refuse to look at death out my window when I can prevent such a disaster. So I must utilize the hose and sprinkler for now until the rains come again. Bring on turgidity please!!