Visiting the Green Thumb community garden last week, I was totally blown away.
It wasn’t the growth of the plants that blew me over – none of the seeds have produced any sprouts. It wasn’t the beauty of our spot – the plot is pretty much a boring rectangle of brown dirt at the moment.
It was the steady 30 mile-per-hour winds that nearly knocked me over as I stood gazing by the fence.
The pipes of the wind chimes in the nearby tree were flipping noisily and clanging into each other. The swirling dust stung my throat and eyes. And the pie pans we had hung over the line of last year’s strawberries had broken loose. All but two of the silver dishes were scattered and tossed throughout the flat rows of the garden.
I’ve always considered strawberry plants fragile. But the ones in our garden were already flowering. The dainty white petals that will turn into seeded red berries flopped and fluttered with the wind gusts but didn’t fall apart. The green spinach leaves that are easily snapped off for salad bounced and waved but didn’t cave to the elements. The stick branches of our lone blueberry bush remained sturdy and didn’t curl or break.
As I stood getting slapped with the cold air, I realized how strong plants have to be to survive the weather and what an amazing job roots do anchoring the growth in the soil.