Wednesday 27 June 2012

Touch-me-not saga, Cottage Friends, Cosmic Joker

Touch-me-not or Jewelweed: 
Impatiens capensis
Back in 2007, after my father died, I was looking for work. This was before I had healed enough to channel my energies into hospice volunteering.

JB waiting for my shift to end!
I signed up to work for a lovely woman, an artist/designer, who has a successful shop in Bala, wanted to open up another Cottage Friends shop in Port Carling.

I tried my hand at it.
I retired 'early' with a penalty, and could use some more income.

I wasn't great at it. Unlike teaching, which I loved, I either didn't work fast enough, or forgot how to operate the cash, or the bank machine failed, had a snotty customer proceed to teach me how to wrap her parcel. I adored researching and planning curriculum. You can't plan for a line-up of several customers.
'Vanna' models some of Carolyn's works

There were lulls in the day; having cleaned shelves, I would sit on the porch. I began watching the plants, and bugs that thrived there.
The front porch!

Beyond the railing were a number of plants, called Touch-me-nots. I loved them! They are delightful. Lovely flowers, they can be orange, pinks, that form seed pods. When they dry out, if you touch them, the seeds pop out and scatter!

 I always have my camera, and I captured photos of these plants. They were near and dear to my heart.

Spider in Touch-me-not
You see, we had quite a number of these plants in our old house, left behind in Nepean, ON. Sheltered under a big evergreen, they thrived.

We sold our lovely home, with skylights, and a big backyard, and garden, in order to move to Muskoka and care for my dying parents. Mom had cancer, and Dad a brain tumour. It was unsettling, to say the least.

'Emily' sits on the grave
When we moved here to Lanark County (Fall, 2010), I brought many seeds with me. Thing is, I planted them in full sun, and they didn't thrive. I transplanted the two that were growing into the shade. I was hopeful. Then, we had our back deck repaired. The workers had no idea, and they accidentally trampled them. I was so sad.
Where Mom & Dad's urns lie

Well, back we went to Muskoka in 2011, to check out Mom and Dad's gravesites. I went back to the place where the store had been, and knocked on the door. The former store was being rented as a home. No one was home. I scarfed some of the seed pods, hoping for the best.
Planting them in the backyard, in the perfect shaded spot, I waited for spring. But, wandering down by out 'point', I spotted the plants. It was heart-warming.

I watched eagerly, this year. The seeds did not seem to take. Nada. Nothing.
I was sad. We visited mom and dad, again this year, but the flowers would not have created seed pods yet. I was ambling around the backyard, walking the cats. Watching the chipmunk tease them on the rain barrel under the great pine tree.
Chipmunk teases the cats!
See the rain barrel where s/he perches.

I walked closer, and lo and behold... there is a Touch-me-not growing in the rain barrel. What a mystery. I have no idea where the seed would have come from. I just hope Bambi or Labbit don't find it tasty! They've been eagerly munching on my sumac (deer) and hostas (rabbits).

I look at it as a gift from above, or Above!
Maybe my parents, who taught me to love my  gardening, sent me a gift, or the Cosmic Joker thought it a fine joke, or it is a reward for working with my various hospice clients!
I shall have to make sure I water it!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful post Jenn!

Olga said...

Like an angel whispering in your ear.

Red said...

Quite the story! Plants sometimes have a mind of their own. Like how you reveal your past experiences in life by telling about a plant.

Linda said...

What a wonderful story! It is always interesting to visit you...learn something new each time! Hope your plant makes it - I have treasured ones from my dad that I am hoping to keep.

Powell River Books said...

I've never heard of a touch-me-not. Sounds like a fragile flower. We have plants sprout up on barrels or on floating logs with no rhyme or reason. Now I know, it was the Cosmic Joker. - Margy