Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

My earliest gardening memory involves harvesting rather than planting. “Harvesting” — now there’s a euphemism. Mother probably thought of it as vandalism, an activity worthy of making a kid cut their own switch if not outright damnation to eternal hell. We lived in central Florida, a small town called Brandon. I liked to sneak out of my bedroom window during those ridiculous nap-times imposed on growing children by 1950’s era parents and slip around to the side of the house to purloin Mother’s hibiscus flowers. I would sit cross-legged, happily sucking nectar from the backs of those gorgeous, velvet-petaled flowers. I maintain to this day that lots of strong black coffee and hibiscus nectar make up for whatever lack of sleep is incurred while adventuring.

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