I am not certain about you and your family, but the nine weeks of quarantine has commenced a hankering within me to go shopping.

Not to a mall. Not to Walmart. (Price Chopper is my favorite local place to shop because I always seem to find someone I know with whom I may chat in the social distancing style.)

But what I REALLY crave is a trip to a flower nursery where I can meander amongst a vast array of kaleidoscopic flowers and bushes and trees. I would spend a Stimulus Check’s worth of money to plant plants throughout our yard.

Unfortunately, our check has still not arrived, so my trip to a nursery will be placed on the back burner, and new plants are not on the list of “essentials” right now.

~~~

I have planted seeds in all my gardens… zinnias, marigolds, sunflowers. Some I have labeled with seed packet markers and others with little sticks poked in the ground.

Well, some of the papers have blown away. My noble garden creatures, two cats and three dogs who wander the gardens with me as I plant, have rubbed onto or walked over or have laid upon my little stick markers.

Now I am unsure what is planted where, and what in the world did I actually plant.

I started with great intentions. I told myself to create a pictorial guide at the beginning of my garden adventures this spring. It was short lived. That is when “chaotic seeding” began.

Last night, as I carried around half full packages of seeds, sprinkling here, sprinkling there, my husband said, “You are planting things all over the place and you won’t remember where anything is.”

Probably and for sure. “Chaotic seeding” may be the new look of the future.

I can think of myself like the female version of Johnny Appleseed, only not with apples but with flower seeds. My name could be… ummmmm… Bethy Flick-a-seed. It has a nice ring to it.

~~~

My yard is acquiring many areas of little white clovers. I love them like I admire their predecessor, the dandelions. Both plants are living havens of hope for honey bees.

Having clover in your yard is a wonder with reverence. Really!!! It is! I promise you!!!

Clover is a member of the pea family… like alfalfa, green beans, soybeans, honey locust trees, mimosa trees and over 20,000 other species of plants. All are good for adding nutrients to the soil.

I had no intention to write about clover’s necessity. I accidentally fell into it last night while my husband and I sat on our yard swing gazing out at our imperfect lawnery (a Beth Conner made-up word meaning the yard or lawn area around a home).

We were looking at our thickets of clover in front of us. I mentioned how the bees would be happy and how my big tortoise would have loved eating them.

I read an article today by Melissa Sharpova, a landscape and design expert as well as a botanist.

She says, “Clover in your yard will fix the atmospheric nitrogen into a soil fertilizer, with the root nodules and colonies of symbiotic bacteria.” Rather fancy terms meaning that clover has the ability to bring up and pull together trace minerals to make your lawn better.

This sounds good to me. When the clover decomposes, the minerals it creates will provide the lawn and soil with a more disease-free area requiring less fertilizer and weed-killer.

This is not only great for the grass but also the streams and lakes. With less nutrient soil run-off, the waterways will be much better.

Have you ever noticed the lakes around golf courses and heavily fertilized fields having the pond scum, or in real terms, filamentous algae? It normally means the pond is out of balance from too many synthetic nutrients placed on the surrounding field or grass.

About 60 years ago, it became the perspective of the “Lawn Masters” to declare war and annihilate all broadleaf plants in a yard...good or bad. People were told, and believed, a perfect lawn was of necessity. AH, this is where the integrity of clover comes in.

Clover is GOOD! It is not the enemy!

If you have a clover-filled lawn, it will crowd out the broadleaf weeds you don’t want. The bees will adore you and produce clover honey… a much wanted variety of honey lovers.

Also remember that clover stays green all summer long.

Clover also allows for hours of fun searching for a four-leafed one that I am sure your children will delight in finding. It means faith, hope, love and luck.

Don’t tell them, but the chances of finding a four-leafer is 10,000 to 1.

Five-leafed clovers are out there too, but the chances of discovering it is one million to one.

Hey… give clover a chipper chance.

Beth Conner is a Miami County resident, teacher and outdoor enthusiast.

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