This column appeared in the March 12th edition of the Daily Journal. Give your opinion with a comment below.
Sorry, Mr. Toad.
I just plain forgot you might be asleep under all that composting material in my No. 4 garden square.
Last weekend, I made crazy use of the fine weather and spent virtually all daylight hours outside shaping up my expanded front flower bed and my garden squares.
The flower bed was a lot of work with my little tiller going wide open to break up new ground and fold in the nutrients and compost.
Then, I moved plants from other spots in the yard to their new bed. Whew, that was work. But it was good work, you know?
Sunday, I directed my attention to my garden ground on the north side of my house.
Two of the plots were merely messy from last fall’s final harvests. A third was just a little weedy.
But the fourth had never been gardened and was where I tossed just about any sort of organic matter for improvement.
As the tiller whined along, I wiggled it along parallel to the lawn-timber borders inching closer and closer to the center. Sometimes I’d run into a rock or some other hard materials. So, I’d stop, get my shovel and poke around to extricate the unwanted.
About 75 percent of my way through Square 4, some such impediment occurred.
As I stooped gracefully to pick some large stones from the cake-like topsoil, one of the big “rocks” jumped.
“EEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIOOOOO!” I shrieked. Actually, it was more like a big ole scream.
There sat Mr. Toad in a dazed state. I apparently had tilled through his winter abode and prematurely shook him from his reveries.
He looked a lot like my now-deceased father, when he’d get up early, his hair a bit disheveled from a night’s rest, his face kind of screwed up in disbelief at the sunshine in his eyes.
“Oh, Mr. Toad, I am soooo sorry,” I said in a normal tone of voice as I calmed down from my start.
So, with my garden-gloved hand, I picked him up and gently tossed him into Garden Square No. 1, which by now was a nice soft landing and one I wasn’t going to revisit until almost May.
That’s been four days. I’ve been conducting my garden-minutae inspections ever since (these continue until it’s too cold to grow anything else).
But I haven’t seen hide nor hair of Mr. Toad.
I’m hoping he’s hopped on down to another relatively new, circular flower bed just under the branch-tips of a scraggly old magnolia tree anchoring the north side of the front yard.
Toad, sir, I’ve been known to dish out some rough treatment at times, but yours certainly was an exception to my gardening policy.
Welcome to the neighborhood. And set a spell.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patsy R. Brumfield/Daily Journal