Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Growing pains


I didn't want to blog about the minutae of my life, just about the writing part of it, but seems like I'm yielding to the temptation today...

Anyway, here goes. My mother is back from a month long vacation in NY. Which left me in charge of her house (not a problem - I just ignore the housework until it can't be ignored any longer, and then proceed to ignore it some more) and in charge of her garden.

There's the rub. This little valley on this little island must have the richest soil on the planet. Things just leap out of the ground, practically growing before your eyes. My mother left the yard immaculate, and a week after she was gone it was obvious that the jungle was already beginning to encroach. Vines were coming over the fence on three sides. All manner of alien green life forms were sprouting with reckless zeal in the herb beds and borders, the grow box, and even in planters and pots. The grass appeared to be on steroids, especially since the rains had begun in earnest. The wind blew down two plantain trees and I found myself wrestling bag after bag of plantains into the freezer. The ferns around the water tank were getting so huge that they threatened to engulf it entirely, and were beginning to look at me in a distinctly malevolent fashion.

I exterminated the ferns, did a bit of dilatory weeding here and there, and watered stuff on dry days when I remembered.

Last weekend it dawned on me that the lady would be back in two days, and I took a good look around. Panic. I had not fertilized her row of cabbages once. The grass was so high an entire commune of giant anacondas, not to mention their smaller and more lethal cronies, could have taken up residence there and I would have been none the wiser.

Summoned the lawn guy. Did some tidying in earnest. When my mom arrived she immediately began walking around the yard, muttering something about wanting to see if anything had survived. Survived? Lady, how about asking how I managed to survive your damned aggressive garden?

4 comments:

kim said...

I killed a cactus that my mother-in-law was very sentimental about. I warned her not to put her dead father's plant in my charge -- she didn't think it had time to die.

wordtryst said...

Hyaaah, haaaaah, haaaaaah...

Laughed my head off at that, Kim. Don't know why. Probably because the term 'mother-in-law' triggers a profound homicidal impulse in me, and since I don't actually do the violence thing, I'd happily settle for murdering her cacti. But she's no longer an issue. Neither is her son. And yours is probably an angel.

Chumplet said...

I lived in Trinidad when I was three, and I distinctly remember the jungle. It stood at the edge of our manicured lawn like a solid wall of green.

A bird lived in there, I think it was a magpie or something because it mimicked our little voices on a regular basis.

We called it the 'bink-a-beer' bird.

wordtryst said...

Hi chumplet! Welcome to my blog.

You used to live in Trinidad? Gosh, what a small world... You'll definitely know what I mean when I write about the encroaching jungle.

Don't think I know that bird you mentioned. There's one called a tropical mockingbird, but I haven't heard it imitate human voices yet, just the cries of other birds.

Nice of you to drop by...