Gravity's Rainbow

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Waiting for Solomon’s Seal

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solomon's seal red by karenchristine552 on flickr

solomon’s seal red by Karen Christine Hibbard

I planted several Solomon’s Seal at the end of April. They were bareroot, dehydrated and fragile feeling. I planted a lot of other things that day, too. Almost overnight I had a garden – ferns unfurled, bleeding hearts burst from bare root to bushes, Huechera and Brunnera put out new leaves so fast you could almost watch them grow. Some things were slower – it took nearly two months for the Jack in the Pulpit to sneak out from underneath the Dryopteris.

But 3 months on, not one of the Solomon’s Seal had poked a leaf above ground. After watching all my neighbors’ Solomon’s Seal bloom, I gave up on mine. Gardening is like that. Sometimes things die.

One morning last week, in between my tea and my shower, I set to planting some cheerful Impatiens I’d picked up from the produce stand to fill the gap in my garden created by the failed Solomon’s Seal. But my digging unearthed sturdy white rhizomes, fat and healthy. My Solomon’s Seal hadn’t died at all! They were just resting and plumping up in the moist, humusy soil.

I planted the Impatiens, carefully replacing the Solomon’s Seal rhizomes. Maybe they need a bit more time before they’re ready to make leaves, maybe they missed their chilling requirement. Gardening is like that. Sometimes you have to wait.

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