Ben Sen's Blog

Politics, Culture and Religion Without Projections

Ben Sen

Ben Sen
New York, N.Y.,
December 31
I'd rather be judged on the basis of my posts than anything written in my bio. It's put down and gathered as a record of my experience and a response to what I see as the important issues in the world today. I don't pretend it's anything other than subjective. The purpose is to analyze, interpret, express opinions, challenge the status quo, open a few doors, and entertain. I heartily welcome ratings, comments and dialogue. That's what makes this media unique and valuable. It also keeps me honest and encouraged since I'm not getting paid. Take a risk and say something; it feels better. A "conversation" is essential for the growth of the individual and the collective. I have faith it extends beyond the confines of what is said here. "For it is necessary for awake people to be awake, or a breaking line may discourge us back to sleep, the signals we give--yes, no or maybe--should be clear: the darkness around us is deep." From A RITUAL TO READ TO EACH OTHER by William Stafford


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APRIL 11, 2012 12:50PM

How and Why to Plant Petunias

Rate: 14 Flag

This is the time of year she'd take a drive on a Saturday morning by herself.  I don't know where the place was, but she knew it from days gone by.

It was her job, nobody elses, all those springs after the snow melted and the dirt in the cement pots on the walls and steps of the porch soft and wet.

Usually, she planted white petunias, but  sometimes they were pink or streaked with red.  I must have helped because I remember the words "flats," "annuals," "perennials,"  and the rusty hand held shovel she used to dig out the decayed roots and plant the tender shoots. 

I thought that's what all grandmother's did, watering them after church, waiting and wondering what kind of year it would be. 

Would they cascade like fat curtains of pure velvet flesh down the worn bricks ?  Or wouldn't the water be enough, or the sun too hot and the blooms dwarfed and gnarled, afraid to open, until the year came we stood in awe and her precious hopes were fulfilled.


(Almost a Petunia) 

Planting petunias isn't a sure thing.  It takes patience and constant care to welcome the summer's guests, to sit on the porch surrounded by their soft elegance on the rocking swings sipping cold lemonade.

Grandma showed us we knew who we were and where we came from, where we were going, and what we would do when we got there.

Illustration: TLC

Technical credits: Mercedes Arnao

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Memory filled beauty. I remember the days when my mother planted this all around and they were beautiful.
This year P wants yellow Begonias. :D
I'm white and Impatient. :D
Beautiful, evocative. Inspires me...perhaps to plant petunias....perhaps to begin a new tradition. Thank you.
Unfortunately, I have a black thumb and kill everything I try to plant. I'm very good with animals, though.
Lovely. The rites of spring. After years of helping me in the many gardens I have tended or dug, my three adult children all feel the need to get their hands in dirt around this time very year. We'll pass this sacrement along to their niece/daughter.
My grandmother planted begonia's. They're very hardy, just like she was. I haven't planted mine yet this year, but I will. You reminded me it's about time. Nice post.
I had an aunt that liked petunias- my uncle still plants them. My grandma liked red geraniums so I bought one this year. I don't know what my Mom liked.
They are fragrant and flowing. Today they have new varieties that do not need to be 'deadheaded'. For some reason they seem to do extremely well by the sea and you can see them in abundance along the NH coast. I wonder what my grandchildren will remember about me? Will it be a flower?
They are indeed one of my favorites and thanks for this post regarding them.
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............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx & Smiles (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
⋆───★•❥ ☼ .¸¸.•*`*•.♥ (ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★(ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★
I adore petunias and remember planting them every spring...maybe I need to resurrect that ritual. I feel inspired. Thanks Ben.
Lovely memories. I like petunias, especially the "Wave" kind.
My granddaughter is named Petunia Sue. Somehow it fits. Great story.