Transplant time is my favorite time in the garden.
For six to eight weeks I have planted, hand-watered, and checked these plants every single day.
For two weeks, I have carried them outside for longer and longer intervals, so they could harden to the rain and sun and wind and bugs before I tore them from their natal creche and plugged them into exotic soil.
And now, they are in their beds, building mycorrizhal networks through which they will exchange information and nutrients. Sinking roots into strange new soil, and devouring it to bulk up like a weight lifter, so they can set flowers and then fruit.
And my role in this diminishes. Now it’s just every couple of days, checking and watering. Every so often I might spray or do a special feeding of water soluble nutrients. But nothing like the concentration and effort put into seeding and germinating and transplanting them.
It’s hard not to see it a little bit like sending a pack of tiny green children off to their adult lives. I visit, but now the bulk of their time exists in a world where I do not, in the sun all day, doing their plant things. And I also know that the end of the season is coming for them, which makes everything a little melancholy, too.
But that’s true of all of us, isn’t it?