Truck-Bed Gardening

By: Julie Day

I have an old pickup truck that I use for gardening and hauling stuff. It’s a rusty little 1985 Toyota, complete with no power steering, no radio, no air conditioning, and 250,000 miles. It’s been in my family since . . . well, since long before I could drive. I LOVE my pickup – and I undoubtedly abuse it – but I use it sparingly, out of respect for its age, and keep it parked most of the winter.

Last fall, I took the truck over to my mother’s, where we spent the day dividing daylilies. We divided, and divided, and divided. Then we planted, and planted, and planted. And the daylilies kept coming! Finally, it was getting dark, and we were getting tired, so we tossed the rest of the daylilies in the back of the truck so that I could give them away to friends.

Here’s where I have to make a confession: soon after that, life got really busy, the weather turned cold, and I forgot about the daylilies. Pretty soon, leaves fell into the truck bed and hid the evidence, gardening slowed down for the winter, and the whole matter was out of my mind completely.

At this point, let’s skip over the lecture on proper vehicle maintenance and fast forward to the good part. One warm, sunny day this spring, I pulled out the truck to run an errand. As I drove away, the wind began to blow around the fallen leaves in the back. And when I returned, what do you think I found? Daylilies! That mound of old, dead-looking daylilies was sprouting all over. My little pickup truck had become a garden all its own, and the daylilies had proven their fierce resistance to giving up the ghost.

Come on – how often do you see a rusty yellow pickup with plants growing out of the back of it? I love it – it’s a classic example of life’s sense of humor, and of the persistence of nature despite our human shortcomings. I’m sure it’s yet another thing to make my neighbors think I’m crazy, but by now they shouldn’t be surprised. And now, it’s time to put on my straight face and go around offering daylilies to my friends, “fresh from the garden”!

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