It turns out Kina’s a gardening freak, which has us all chuffed here at TDK HQ—a vociferously pro-gardening newsroom with absolutely no experience in the cultivation of actual plants. Yesterday, as a budding green thumb1, Kina spent nearly an hour wandering the rows of the Teaching Garden at Governor’s Island in solitude, periodically walking up to a volunteer to ask about a particular flower or get permission to water something. She learned about beetles and brussels sprouts and soap, and how to use one of those things to keep the other two apart. She tasted a perfectly-ripe August cherry tomato and did not find it to her liking—to the shock of the farmers. She poured water from a plastic whale over the marigold blossoms, until one of the farmers taught her that water droplets act at lenses in the summer sun and can burn the flowers. She then poured water from a plastic whale carefully and directly into the soil underneath the marigolds until they were sated. She plucked off leaves of geranium, thyme, and spearmint, crushing them between her fingers and holding them to her nose; she proposed that the geranium might repel mosquitoes and set off to find some to repel. She tapped squash. She marveled at corn. She sat with her parents on a red porch swing with exposed screws and rusty chains, rocking back and forth in the shade of the trees and watching the wasps as they pollinated the yarrow at the border of the garden. We only got her out of there by promising that we could visit anytime she wanted, and we walked through the gate with her as she looked back at her flowers and corn and thyme, a gentlewoman farmer to the last.
A delightful little minimalist entry for today’s Parade cover. It depicts a single marigold. Kina’s name sprouts from the bottom of the page like a little plant, and the sun shines from above. Viewed with a close eye, the canvas betrays a spoiled headline from a prior edition. It happens.
pun decidedly intended