Browsing Archives for Garden

A few weeks ago I noticed that some daisies were emerging on the small hillside behind our house.  I was both surprised and relieved to see them appear.  Last Fall, B.J., a fellow member of my church mentioned that he was digging up a bunch of his daisies to make room for a water feature in his back yard.  He asked me if I wanted them.  ”Hell yes!’  I said, and then I remembered I was in church and said, “I mean Heck yes… Heck!  Heck!  I meant to say Heck!”  B.J. just looked at me the same way a lot of people look at me which is sort of a sideways glance with more than a small glint of concern and fear and said he would bring the daisies over soon.

A few days later, I came home from work to find my driveway filled with daisies.  B.J. had dropped off buckets and buckets and buckets of daisies.  I took one look at all those daisies and collapsed in a broken heap of lost humanity never to rise again.  There was no way I was going to get all those daisies in the ground.

No. Way.



What’s worse is that in just a few days the entire church was scheduled to appear at our house for an annual cook-out and hayride.  I couldn’t just let those daisies die a slow death in my driveway and then toss them in the north forty.  I had to make it look like a natural death… like an act of God… like mother nature had killed all those buckets full of daisies and not me!

I told the Country Doctor about my dilema,  ”Do you have a drug or a serum?” I asked him, “Or maybe you could just back over the daisies with the tractor and I could say that you killed them and not me…. It is no big deal if you kill off a driveway full of daisies… you’re a DOCTOR… people expect you to be heartless and robotic and kill things occasionally!  It fits your character!  But I work at a Garden Center!  I am supposed to bring things to life and fill the world with flowers!”

The Country Doctor just looked at me the way a lot of people look at me which is with a great deal of despair mixed with large dollops of horror.  

It is at this point in the story that I must have suffered a long black-out that lasted approximately twelve months because when I saw those daisies emerging from the hillside behind my house, I ran and found the Country Doctor and said,”Honey!  HONEY!  HONEY!!!  Remember those daisies?  Remember!  The Daisies that B.J. brought over and that I asked you to pretend to accidentally kill?”  

I think you can imagine how he was looking at me at this point.

“Well guess what!”  I continued, ” I planted them and they are all coming up!”

At this point, the Country Doctor’s normal pitying look turned a little icy around the edges.  ”You didn’t plant those daisies,” he said, “I planted those daisies… I broke my back to plant those daisies before the church cookout last year.”


“And it was a hundred degrees outside and that dirt on that hillside was as hard as stone.”

“Oh… well I guess daisies do well without any care.” I shakily replied.

“What do you mean without any care?”  he demanded.  ”I planted them, I watered them, I treated them better than I treat my trees!”

“Oh….  I just didn’t remember that… probably because of uh… the heat… and uh… the blackout…” I shakily replied

“What blackout?”

“You know… the blackout.  The blackout!  THE BLACK OUT!!!  

“What are you talking about?” he asked.

The blackouts I have when I feel all weak and shaky and then people dump a boat load of daisies in the driveway!” 

“Oh yeah… those black outs.”

“Oh… don’t those blackouts me!” I hissed.  ”You know very well that I am practically at death’s door at all times and I only struggle on for the sake of you and your children.

“Right.” he replied.

“No one on the face of the earth is more heroic than I am.” I announced.

“I’ll remember that.” he sighed.

“Good!” I exclaimed, “And I’ll try to remember that it was you who planted all those daisies!”


“And… your daisies… they look nice.”


Special note to self…

Please try and remember that someone at work gave the Country Doctor some Canna bulbs and HE planted them… not YOU… HE!!!

Pumpkins Along the Riviera

July 17th, 2009

I really wanted to plant a pumpkin patch this year.  I have long had a secret fantasy of owning a pumpkin farm, except that in my fantasy, there is no work involved.  In my fantasy, I inherit a pumpkin farm that is planted and ready to harvest.  Someone has already built a very cute farm stand with gingham covered tables and the sweetest wooden bins filled with an abundance of gourds and pumpkins in every shape, color and size.  A friendly neighbor volunteers to operate a horse drawn hay wagon that transports happy families back and forth to the pumpkin fields.  My children work without ceasing and never complaining to make hand pressed cider, pumpkin tarts, and adorable gourd birdhouses.  I myself, operate the cash register with frequent long breaks to sample the fresh baked goodies, wander aimlessly around the corn maze and sit on a sunny hay-bale to read a book.  We make loads of cash and after a few years, we retire in the Italian Riviera where I instantly write a best selling, suspense filled, action packed, heart breaking memoir entitled The Pumpkin Queen.  

Hey!  It’s my fantasy!  I can do whatever I want!

But I did not plant any pumpkins this year.

They planted themselves.

In my compost pile.

I think God is trying to tell me something don’t you?

I think I am supposed to move to the Italian Riviera.

The Harvest Moon Cone-flower is absolutely my favorite perennial.  


That’s the one.

No doubt about it.

Now what should we talk about?



Did I say the Harvest Moon Cone-flower?  

What I meant to say was the Purple Cone-flower.  

The same one that Hal used to make his tincture.






It’s Russian sage!  

It’s Russian Sage!  

Gosh I’m spacey today!

Russian Sage is my absolute favorite perennial.




Except for the Purple Cone-flower.

Did I say this one before?





What I meant to say was Purple Gay Feather.


Because of the name and also…



The way it seems to glow when the sun catches the spiky leaves.  

Can you see the glow?

Can you see it?

You are just going to have to trust me… 

It glows.

And it’s my favorite…





How can lavender not be my favorite?!?

I love lavender!

With all my heart!



But what about the humble Valerian?

Such a sweet flower.

And if you know what you are doing, you can turn this plant into a sleep aid.

Maybe I can get Hal to teach me how sometime…




Be still my heart.

I do love Bee Balm.  

I do.

It might really be my very favorite of all the perennials.

That funky bright red bloom just really gets to me.



Did I mention the Purple Cone-flower yet?   

It is certainly winning the ‘most photogenic’ award today.

I love coneflowers.

And they really are my favorite.


They are all my favorites.




Perrenials take time… they take patience… they tend to come on slowly… but once they are established, they thrive under benign neglect.

Maybe that’s why perennials are my favorite of all the plants…

I raise them the same way I raise my kids.