365 Days of Earrings

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lady Beetles for the Garden

My friend Martha envisioned a community garden at the school where we both teach, down by the old barn where we've conducted many science field studies over the years, at the foot of the silo that I used to climb each spring to drop my students' egg-drop contraptions. For about 5 years Martha has been researching and persuading and grant-writing and planning.

When I arrived this afternoon, she was digging in the dirt, in her plot of raised beds full of rich soil, surrounded by deer fencing, stocked with tools, gardening catalogs, and refreshments.

Jill and I turned over the winter rye cover crop in the raised planting bed that we will share, while Martha and her daughters Leland and Ellen, fellow teachers Susan, Paula, Raven and Scott and their friend Jim, Marie Christine, and Stephen all worked in their beds under the watchful eye of our master gardener, Linda.

I wore my ladybugs, pictured here in the rosemary bush that John over-wintered on our dining room table, and only today returned to the porch to enjoy the rain that's forecast for tonight.

Scientists prefer the term lady beetles, I read. They are named for Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was often pictured in a red cloak. The 7 spots on Europe's most common ladybird beetle were thought to symbolize the 7 joys and 7 sorrows of Mary.

My beetles have only 3 spots on each wing cover. Ah well. Less sorrow, but also less joy. Perhaps I'll use a Sharpie and add some dots when I figure out which wing represents joy. Martha and Linda are the ladies I choose to honor today. A working community garden is quite an accomplishment!

No comments: