Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Transplanting Daylilies and Renewal

You know, gardening makes philosophers of us all.

I've been out separating daylilies into new plantings. I know it seems like an odd time of year to be doing this but daylilies suffer mid-summer moves well and it is the only way I can judge the bloom color of the daylilies I'm moving - yes, I really have lost ALL the tags. I've been working at this job, off and on, since June, moving clumps into new configurations that better show the colors of each variety.

I think of what this is like for the daylilies as I am tearing clumps apart, ripping the roots free and brutally separating what was a happy, if crowded, family of daylily shoots. Some break, are cut by the shovel, missed in the transplant and otherwise doomed to die. To the original plant, at that moment, the transplanting process must seem like the strike of a horrific tragedy. The shock! The pain! The disorientation!

As I work, I keep consoling them. "It will be better for you in the long run," I assure each traumatized transplant. "You needed to move, to grow, to have a new situation. It will be okay. It is for the best - you will see."

And as I work I think about life and the scale of things and how our lives are torn and upheaved with traumas we think we cannot endure. And I think of all the platitudes and comforts people say to us with love, with concern, and how we cannot hear them at that time.


And I watch the lilies - how they wilt and they struggle. They don't see me caring for them, watering them, watching over them. Slowly, carefully, they put down new roots. Their leaves lift... and they begin to grow and thrive.

Sometime later when I'm strolling through the garden I see the daylilies growing in their new locations - vibrant, blooming, happy. They have coped, they have survived, they are doing even better than they were.

And I tell myself.... remember.