Who wrote these instructions, anyway?

The nice thing about writing is that you can do it just about anywhere with just about anything. Pen, pencil, computer, words on a page or words torleyheader020816electronic, it’s all the same, flowing from mind into action.

Right now, I am sitting under a beach almond, wet from the pool and enjoying a view of the Pacific. Hotel El Velero is right on the beach and wonderful. So are the beach almonds, I am told, although  I haven’t found a way to crack this one open . . . yet. My beach almonds, planted from seed and far from the beach, haven’t begun to produce nuts yet, but I have hope. A gardener has to have hope.

Hope is a gardener’s friend.  Every time we put in a seed order, we hope. When the order arrives, we read the instructions and hope. “Soak seed overnight in warm water.” What does that mean? How warm is warm? Is it okay to let the water cool down or do we have to put a heat lamp next to the bowl to keep the water warm overnight? Bah! “Plant when the soil temperature reaches 70 F” Right. My soil is over 80 F all year long. Is that too hot for the seeds?

“Cover with ½ (or ¼, or 1) inch of loose soil.” Like I am going to measure. Better they should tell me to poke a hole to the top of my fingernail or my first knuckle because that’s what I am going to do. I am going to poke a hole in the soil and figure on a knuckle-and-a-half or so for some seeds and a fingernail for others. If someone out there takes a ruler with them into the garden, I would like to hear about it. As for me, I have hope that the knuckle trick works.

Then there are the watering requirements from water lightly to soak soil well when planting and again you just hope you are doing it correctly. In the Nuevo Arenal area, you have to hope that three meters of rain (over 10 feet) won’t be too much.

What is it the man wrote…Hope springs eternal? Certainly true for gardeners.

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