Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Don't Take Gardening Tips From Herb

Slim Randles is here again as Wednesday's Guest. I am still busy with the Kidzz on Stage Drama Camp, and I am so glad that Slim is willing to be my guest and keep you entertained while I am basically absent from the cyber world. In honor of Herb, I thought we could all start out with a glass of papaya juice. Enjoy....
Like a doctor removing something important, Herb Collins gently peeled the wrapper back from the root ball and tenderly placed the baby tree in the hole. Then he stood and walked around it to see which way he should align it. Actually, looks pretty good just the way it is.

So he took his bucket of mixed sand and compost and began sprinkling it down onto the roots and then packing it in gently with his fist.

Every few minutes he’d stop and read the directions again. When he ordered the tree, the nurseryman had written back “Are you sure?” Well, that made ol’ Herb laugh. Yes, he was sure. He’s always sure this time of year.

He was still chuckling to himself when Janice Thomas walked along the sidewalk.

“Hi Herb,” said the high school art teacher. “What is it this year?”

“Papaya, Janice. Nice healthy one, don’t you think?”

Janice took a close look at the little dark green tree.


“Isn’t that a tropical tree?”

“Sure is,” he said, tucking more dirt around the roots. “I have to read the instructions carefully to get this right.”

Janice thought carefully before speaking. “Papayas sure taste good, Herb.”

“Sure do. Wouldn’t it be nice if this lives long enough to produce fruit?”

“But you’re not expecting …”

“Of course not. The first nippy day in autumn will turn this little guy belly up.”

He looked up and smiled at Janice’s consternation.

“You know that banana tree almost made it to Christmas last year. That was my best so far. We’ll see how this little guy makes out.”

Each year Herb plants something in the front yard that has no chance at all of being there the following spring. He’s done it for years. It gives the neighborhood something to look at and talk about, and it’s fun.

“You know, Herb, if you’re looking for fruit, a cherry tree will produce …”

 “I’m not looking for fruit, Janice,” he said, gently. “I’m looking for glory. Glory!”

He laughed. “Where’s the glory in planting something that will grow here? Anyone can do that. But a papaya? Ha! There’s glory in that.”

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Anonymous said...

Curious: does a papaya tree small enough to transplant produce fruit its first year?

It's a cute story, anyway, but out trees take several years to really get going. Not papaya trees - we have several volunteer dogwood and black cherry trees.

Just wondering.


Maryannwrites said...

Alicia, I think part of the joke was that Herb thought the tree would give him fruit. I wondered the first time I read it, then caught the part where he does this all the time with false expectations. (smile)