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Spring Already?

August 21, 2010

There I was biking along this week, thinking of nothing in particular, and just happened to look to the side of the road as I passed this:

Doesn’t look like anything out of the ordinary? A Common Elder, Sambucus nigra, with a few berries, in front of a corn field…

Well, let’s look closer:

Are you seeing it yet? Or do we have to go closer still?

Along with the almost-ripe berries, it also has flowers on two of the branches. Where does this plant think we are? We don’t get two blooming seasons a year here!


At work, on the other hand, we’re always a season or more ahead. Here’s what we did this week:

Let’s take a closer look – do you know what they are?

They’re tiny little baby pansies (Viola x wittrockiana). August is the time for the ‘pansy potting parties’. These are only about 5,000 – about 5% of what we had to pot up in a week back at the apprenticeship place! Now those were some big ‘potting parties’, most of the nursery employees put to this one task, spending day after day sticking little pansy plug plants into their pots.

At the teeny tiny village nursery, there’s only me and the boss dancing to the clack-clickety-clonk of the potting machine, for just a little over a day. Though there’ll be more to come, I suppose – the greenhouse is only filled to about a third, and it was filled to the last corner when I started working in February. Also, I guess these are mostly for Autumn sale – All Saint’s Day is one of the traditional dates at which graves ‘have to’ look nice*, so we’ll be selling pansies and Chrysanthemums in the weeks leading up to it.

I’m not particularly looking forwards to the increase in customers (unless they’re quick, uncomplicated customers who spend a lot of money and give good tips… a girl can dream!), but I do look forwards to more work at the potting machine. It may be exhausting, but I like having contests with myself to see how fast I can work, and it’s nice to see the greenhouse filling up so quickly. And it’s nice to know that while the summer ends, and the end of my contract for the year draws nearer and nearer, spring is on it’s way again.


* This ‘have to’, this ‘but what will people think if -‘, all this fuss being made about keeping graves ‘looking nice’, is what most disturbs me about the thought of having to die. I’m not particularly afraid of dying (although I rather like living), but imagine my family being forced to keep my grave ‘looking nice’ just so other people won’t think they don’t care about me… Can’t they just burn me and sprinkle my ashes in a nice forest…?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 21, 2010 03:12

    Tips? You get tips?

    • August 23, 2010 10:51

      The upside of doing annoying things like gift-wrapping plants. 😉


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