We have a planter box in our back garden that is empty. Alf and I decided it took too much work, and not to mention water, to nurture and grow vegetables. Consequently, word got out in the neighborhood and it has become the toilet for cats that poop in for visits. I caught one the other day peeing. He looked me straight in the face with a grin and continued peeing.
Our son however, didn’t like the look of the empty box. Last weekend he showed up for a visit with four sweet pea plants and put them in the ground.
“The soil is full of cat pee,” I warned.
“Fertilizer,” he said.
I love sweet peas with their curly tendrils and their delicate multi-colored flowers that can fill a room with their fragrance. We didn’t have trellises, but he found leftover tomato plant stands which he put around each plant.
“Take care of them,” he said when he left.
Two weeks later he called me from the road to Idaho. “How are the sweet peas?”
I stuttered. It has been scorching hot and the sweet peas turned lemon yellow and looked exhausted.
I called a local nursery for help. They told me to shade the plants with an umbrella, water them frequently and fertilize them.
I envisioned taking shifts with Alf holding umbrellas over them. Or recruiting neighborhood kids to take turns and we’d pay them in candy.
What we did instead was drape a tablecloth over the tops of the stands, and clip clothespins to keep it from flying away. It looks like a Sukkah booth.
This morning the sweet peas look perkier. And our son, who is coming for a visit, will see we’re taking care of his investment.
Frankly, Calvin is less fuss.
“I’m the best investment you have in this family. At least I don’t ask you to shade me with an umbrella on our walks!”