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April 18, 2005
Perhaps I was bending wrong again -- I keep forgetting that you're not supposed to bend from the waist when you pick things up. That must be it. I was bending from the waist for hours on Saturday in the garden, and now I can barely arise from a chair.

It was worth every ache, though, a completely fair exchange. To dig and mix in compost, to plant summer bulbs and little seedlings, to wrestle with the ivy and win. To greet returning plants from their winter's sleep, together with their new children, springing vigorously up alongside their parents. This is a time, while it is still cool and the nights are very cool, for cutting off small plants from the mother plant and letting them try their luck in another part of the garden. Like any pioneering experience, this one is uncertain: two groups of tiny peonies occupy two new patches in the front. Peonies don't like to move. We shall see if they make it. Thus far, it looks promising.

You cut cleanly, if you must cut. Fast and clean. Have your shears sharp, and make it as brief as possible; disease and parasites enter more easily through the jagged cuts you make if you try to do it gently. Just take a deep breath, then cut and let them go: it really is the kindest thing you can do.
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