Home > Dispatches > Daily Dispatches 2020 >Daily Dispatch #153

June 2, 2020: Rooted

Today I did double duty. First of all, I did Bright Lights stuff. I went to Sutton and restocked the post office book kiosk. Sutton has a small post office and a staff of one. The clerk who works there is personable and a reader – so very encouraging about having books on hand for readers.

I next went to the Alaska State Fair exhibit hall, and there I spent the rest of the afternoon passing out plants to those who had already purchased them. My one shortcoming is that, as you know, I am not a gardener. I wish I was, but I have serious doubts about this coming to be. I say I don’t have enough time, but quite obviously, if this is in my DNA I would have the time.

153 Loading up plants at the state fair plant sale
Loading up plants at the state fair plant sale

I look at a plant and am told what it is. Then, ten minutes later, I have to ask again what it is. I know what a rose is, what a daffodil is, what a lilac is. My favorite flower is the columbine. It brings to mind the word intergalactic. And now I know what an annual is and what a perennial is. This is so amazingly pathetic. My one redeeming horticultural trait is that I appreciate other’s gardening related efforts.

And so there, before me, were flats filled with plants, and hanging baskets with the same. It was my job to make sure that the right people got the right plants. At first, I went by the names on the flats. Then I began looking at the orders on the sheet and using this as a guide. Odd, that I had to make this transition. But make it, I did.

I was moved, almost to tears, several times, by the fact the plants were so healthy. And I was further moved, almost to tears, by the fact that the Alaska State Fair staff had taken time and care in arranging the plants in the flats and baskets in a way that brought out the best in each of the plants. I also began to sense that they had grouped plants of differing kinds together, knowing that they are companionable. This was no random effort, not at all.

I was not able to tell those who came for their plants what the names of the various plants actually were. Most knew one or two types – so I had them tell me what they were. It was akin to connecting the dots. I also began looking up plant names in some of the books that I had brought along to give to who ever wanted them.

Naming and identity are synonymous terms. I now know what alyssum looks like, so when I see it, it will draw my attention to it.

Interesting, watching people handle their plants. I could tell who the experienced gardeners might be. They took a moment and examined the plants in their flats. It was as if they were thinking about where the plants would go when they were in their own gardens. They also had space in their vehicles cleared out for their purchases. And, of course, they were punctual. They also leafed (no pun intended) through the books and thanked me for bringing them along.

I had such a good, good day. And tomorrow, I hope will be much the same.

Next: 154. 6/3/20: New World Disorder

Horse Care Home About Us Dispatches Trips Alys's Articles