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A tomato seedling delivery

While we were in the midst of sorting out the HOA problems, I received a cheery email from my coworker, Pilar, who was in the midst of nurturing tomato seedlings on my behalf. They were just about ready for delivery, she said, and she’d bring them in after the weekend.

This presented a dilemma. Tell? Or not to tell? Luckily, I fell ill the following Monday and Tuesday and didn’t return to the office until Wednesday, which meant I could put off the conversation for a couple of days. I’ve never been so grateful to get a cough in my life.

But Wednesday, it was time to face reality. Pilar arrived in my office bearing a bag of four different varietals, all just a bit leggy but looking beautiful.

“I have to admit, I’m really sorry to see them go,” she said. “I’m going to miss them. Take good care of them.”

I gulped.

“Right, so, I hadn’t exactly gotten a chance to tell you,” I said. “We’re having a little problem with the homeowners’ association at my building, so I’m not entirely sure when I’ll be able to plant them.”

Her face turned just a touch sad.

“But I’ll figure something out,” I said, rushing into promises I had no idea if I could keep. “I’ll find somewhere to plant them. I don’t know where, but somewhere.”

“No,” she said, touching the leaves. “It’s not a problem if you let them die.”

My Catholic guilt blared at me like a siren. Kill tomato plants? Not on purpose. No way.

I carried them home carefully the next night on the bus, giving them the window seat. Then I set them up on the dining room table at the apartment, hoping a reprieve would come through before they wilted.

7 Comments on “A tomato seedling delivery”

  1. #1 Karen Davis
    on Jun 3rd, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Oh I hate the pesky HOA! Folks who sit on those boards take their job WAY too seriously! However, it’s important to play nice so they should all get to share in your first fruits!

  2. #2 Heather's Garden
    on Jun 4th, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Oh, they look so lonely and sad sitting on the bus. I love the way you’re telling the story.

  3. #3 pilar
    on Jun 4th, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Ditto. You write beautifully. I had to laugh out loud on you “happy to have a cough” comment.

    I was nervous about the leggy nature of the seedlings (lesson for next year, grow lights. Sigh) but happy to report that once in a permanent home they are filling out.

  4. #4 Jeff Shattuck
    on Jun 4th, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Love your writing. Rooting for the plants!

  5. #5 Marc
    on Jun 5th, 2010 at 8:43 am

    I hope your tomatoes are OK. What varieties did you get?

    Perhaps we need a network of foster gardens (or foster porches) to handle emergencies like this…

  6. #6 inadvertentgardener
    on Jun 5th, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Kären, that is an excellent idea!

    Heather, thanks. :-)

    Pilar, yes — I think the legginess can be overcome.

    Jeff, indeed. Go, plants, go!

    Marc, a network of foster gardens would be great — and actually, there is someone who has contacted me about just such a network…more soon!

  7. #7 Seedlings wearing too-tight pants – The Inadvertent Gardener
    on Jun 5th, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    [...] the seedlings received prime placement on the dining room table, one of the sunniest spots in the house, I knew I [...]

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