Share This Page

Saturday essay: A greenhouse morning

| Friday, April 19, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

The Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard and three varieties of lettuce have taken on decidedly human characteristics in the greenhouse.

They appear to stretch their leaves and yawn as the light switch is thrown on after the wide greenhouse door swings open in the early morning. They'll welcome the refreshing breezes as the sun rises and those dark and cool overnight 50s become the sunny and warm 70s.

That warmth, over the last week, has coaxed their young roots to push deep into large planters and buckets, bucked up for the new growing season with a touch of mushroom manure and other organic goodies. The now-adolescent roots will serve them well during this weekend's cooler spell.

Their attention suddenly seems to turn to one corner where there's just been something of a horticultural ruckus — a surprising snapping sound, not unlike that of a locked and loaded rubber band being released.

At long last — after stratifying in the refrigerator over the winter and taking nearly seven weeks to germinate — a half-dozen persimmons from the Outer Banks of North Carolina have broken through their white sand and soil bed. There's a barely perceptible “Ah!” as, now free, a spot of water is applied.

The morning check is done. The door screen is lowered. The door itself is propped open. And just as the light is about to be switched off, an imagineering gardener senses smiles, nods and winks all around.

­— Colin McNickle

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.