May 7, 2012


by Lynne Sharon Schwartz
The healthy plant outgrows its pot
the way a healthy child outgrows its clothes.
Don't let it suffer constriction. Spread the Sports
or Business section of the New York Times
on the dining room table. Find a clay pot
big enough for fresh growth. In the bottom
place pebbles and shards from a broken pot for drainage.
Add handfuls of moist black potting soil,
digging your hands deep in the bag, rooting
so the soil gets under your fingernails.
Using a small spade or butter knife,
ease the plant out of its old pot with extreme
care so as not to disturb its wiry roots.

The plant is naked, suspended from your hand
like a newborn, roots and clinging soil
exposed. Treat it gently. Settle it
into the center of the new pot, adding soil
on the sides for support—who isn't shaky,
moving into a new home ?
Pack more soil around the plant,
tapping it down till you almost reach the rim.
Flounce the leaves as you would a skirt. Then water.
Place the pot back on the shelf in the sunlight.
Gather the Sports section around the spilled soil
and discard. Watch your plant flourish.
You have done a good and necessary deed.

( from See You in the Dark. © Curbstone Books, 2012.)

Three years ago today Ken King, having finished a life largely lived with and through the garden, moved on. Perhaps he would appreciate the image of being "repotted" by God, no longer to suffer constriction. 

Ken knew plants need room to grow. The seeds he sowed on the farm continue to flourish; he made sure they had a lot of space.


  1. Absolutely agree - imagine if were squeezed from all sides!

  2. I am slightly confused first but now I am agree with you.

  3. This article is sound like good. I completely agree with this.

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