Who would have thought that such a small animal–no larger than the palm of my hand–would have such reserves of strength? Vincenzo fights on, seeming to get better every day. Today he ate some chicken, part of a strawberry, some egg and broccoli. Unfortunately he seems to have an eye problem–possibly conjunctivitis–which though not life threatening, adds to his discomfort. Junior has found a very who treats reptiles and we are on her waiting list for Thursday. Should another client cancel an appointment, we will rush our little patient to the clinic. We expect a miracle.
Meanwhile the New Dawn roses began to bloom and a new clematis made its debut. This is the first time I have had clematis bloom the year it was planted. In a moment of fiscal abandon ordered four different ones from Son Sparrow Farm and to my surprise every one was in bud on arrival. Generous rainfall has helped these new additions to the garden as well as being being beneficial to our budget. Water is an expensive commodity in our village. For years the powers that be have been caving in to real estate developers whose need for sewer and water hook-ups exceeded the capacity of the existing sewer and water plant. Not surprisingly, a new water plant will have to be built. Its estimated cost will be twelve million dollars and guess who gets to pay for it–we the little folks who did not profit a whit from the explosive growth that plagues West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.
Gardening is an expensive proposition in our area. As the price of food soars, it makes sense to plant vegetables to feed the body and flowers to feed the soul. The catch is that unless one plans carefully, one’s budget can to hell in a garden basket. I happen to own a rain barrel. That trims the water budget a bit but I still depend on town water to keep my plants going. I have been trying to learn more about xeriscaping and plan to add more native plants to my garden.
Next year I intend to transition from almost organic to completely organic gardening. Since I have yet to master the art of transforming old newspapers and kitchen scraps into compost, I did use commercial fertiliser this season. Gardening takes time and willingness to learn. Most of all, it takes patience. Vincenzo can teach to cope with bad gardening mistakes, crop failure, bug invasion and other predicaments. Just seeing how bravely he endures the trauma of his battle with the evil Pepper is a lesson in perseverance.

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