The last thing I did, on leaving my parents' property, was fill little paper cups with seeds: opium poppy, nigella, calendula, and dill - four of the flowers that self-seeded wildly and, during a certain part of each summer, made my mother's garden the enchantment that it was. The poppies are the stars - hundreds of them, in every incarnation: single, double, frilled and fringed... grape-colored, wine-colored, vermillion, lilac... and cupcake! There are some that look just like pink cupcakes.
I put together packets of the seeds for friends, and have a few left over to offer here. If you would like one, please leave a comment or email me (zoe[at]fastdoggardening.com). I would be so delighted to know Mom's seeds are sprouting hither and thither across the country next spring.
After the acreage next door to my parents' land was bulldozed to make way for the natural gas industry - horse pastures, swamp, and woods, ripped up, flipped over, and ground in - my mom carried that year's poppy seedheads across the new moonscape and strew them along the edge. I didn't know she'd done it until the next July, when there they were, visible from the road - a stubborn streak of soft, strong, beautiful poppies across a wasteland of ugly, ruined earth. I think it was her way of protesting, saying Not Here, Not This.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed. Our community is small, and people know and respect my mom. They know her garden, and her politics. They know, like I do, that if there was ever anyone capable of saying Fuck You with flowers, it's her. She did it with artistry, and showed what she stood for - not just what she was against - at the same time.
And so... These seeds I want to give you - they are special, because they are the seeds of dissent. Gardening feeds our spirits and our bellies, both, and it is, at this point in history, an act of rebellion. Tending garden gives a person passion, satisfaction, peace, and awe - experiences the consumer culture can't offer... It is a wholly constructive endeavor, and yet it rejects so much bullshit at the same time.
The photo at the top of the page was taken by my dad, Michael Poster, in Mom's garden.
Labels: my mother's garden