This is the view from my kitchen window. Besides the neighbor’s row of junipers and our drooping hostas, this is the least planted spot in the yard. In the eight years we’ve lived here, since we took down a rotted white picket fence along the back and dug out clots of brush, I’ve stood at the sink and looked and looked and looked at this empty space. I can’t say that I’ve spent much time imagining what I would plant there; it’s been mostly a focal point for daydreaming about other things. Once in a while, I’ve moved the chair or a bench into view, just to alter the scene a bit. Suddenly, recently, I tired of an empty that’s too empty, and I decided to plant.
Days later, in front of the outdoor cashier booth at the Dennis Agway, with shrubs and ground covers in a wagon behind me and Jimmy having gone to get the car, I said to the woman behind the counter and to Bob who advised me on the plants, “I’m hesitating. I… I have this blank space in my yard and I think I’m afraid to plant it.”
She nods. “Oh, yeah.”
Bob, who I’ve discovered is a retired social studies teacher and now full-time gardener, says, “We all feel it.”
“Dig it in.”
“Yeah. Hey? See what happens.”
We all seem resigned to this, and nod at each other. I sign my credit card receipt; Bob wheels the plants out to the car; and I’m on my way.