Having been a voracious reader my whole life, my mental compost should by now be a steaming heap of crumbling, dark-brown soil full of nutrients and micro-organisms for something good to grow. Of course, the question is if I have fed it with the right stuff; those organic, well-balanced materials, that with a bit of added moisture disintegrate into a smooth, sweet-smelling humus ready make any plant leap to the skies with joy. Or have I unintended fed it with things difficult to digest, or kept it either too wet or dry? Or maybe, just maybe, I've been too lazy or comfortable to occasionally completely turn it over to give it more oxygen, so that the small aerobes can do their job?
For many, summer is a time of reading; newspapers and magazines drown us in tips about what to take as a companion to the hammock or beach. This year, I will think of my mental compost heap and choose books that complement its balance well; not too wet, so it rottens to a smelly mass, not too acid, so that the heap won't heat and not too dry, so that the whole process looses its momentum. And of course, I will try to turn it properly over sometimes, to let some well-needed air to the heap.
Today, I planted some beautiful Polygonatum x hybridum 'Variegata' that I bought at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens for a couple of days ago. I love their thick, juicy rhizomes with white buds telling in which way the plant is growing. The maroon stems and leaves with white margins are beautiful, too, not to mention the nodding bell-formed flowers that come up early in spring. I had masses of old Polygonatums that had spread themselves between the cliffs in my garden in Saltsjöbaden (not the variegated ones, though), and I enjoyed how they thrived in those hard conditions, shooting up early in the spring and staying around until late autumn.