The plants are back.
The garden has been like a big empty hotel, dark and quiet, with vacant rooms and no heat, and now suddenly the place is filled with sunshine, and guests dressed in their bright vacation clothes are bustling in, all very excited and demanding attention of every kind from the management. Water, mulch, weeding, moving (yes I am still moving things), killing (just a couple– I try to keep the murders to a minimum), sorting out conflicts, staking, baby-plant care. It’s exhausting.
But they are the Beautiful People, like in Hollywood only quieter, and so we hurry around to accomodate them so they won’t check out of the establishment and we can continue to vicariously share in The Lives of the Green and Flowery.
Dark blue native delphinium blooms have arrived, but no roses open yet, although the little green rosebuds are out there and I can almost hear them broadcasting a lunch call to the deer.
Well the garden-as-hotel metaphor is already definitely wobbling… I’ll end it like The Hotel California: “You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave.” (Gardeners are such dictators.)
Here is a tall white clematis which I did not grow from a cutting and which is going to get too big for the little bamboo teepee construction and whose name I thought I knew but then I thought it would bloom purple as well and it didn’t.
Okay that was where I had planted it, a long time ago, and back then it was green and growing and vigorous looking. But other more pushy things grew up in front of it–I won’t mention any names but the initials are crape myrtle and summersweet–and I sort of forgot about it back in the corner…The result was the poor sad plant you see before you which looks like it was dragged behind a truck for quite a few miles or possibly chewed on by starving rats.
Of course I had envisioned this shrub as a dramatic vertical architectural expression at the turning point of the interior fence corner, not a rat-chewed stick with a bit of coarse moss growing on it.
So I rescued it from me.
I have since forgiven myself my neglect and now I am just encouraging me to give this plant every possible benefit in the way of garden care. How gratifying to know that I have rescued it from my evil clutches at last.
Now, here is today’s etiquette question which is sort of an essay question so pay close attention.
Say you have a gardening friend over for lunch, and after you eat and after you do the garden tour and you successfully skirt all the difficult questions like “what’s the name of that rhododendron” and “why did you plant that rose in the shade” and you are just sort of relaxing in very comfy and traditional white wicker chairs (which you scooped a couple years ago at Goodwill) beneath the maple tree and then, with no warning whatsoever, a bird perched and singing in the tree above poops on your visitor’s head.
Now, this is not the sort of small mishap that you as hostess can hope will go unnoticed by the victim. I didn’t hear a “plop” sound but certainly the plopped-on guest knew immediately what had befallen her, you might say, so there was no avoiding the issue.
My first thought here is that my garden birds are ingrates (there are FOUR bird baths around here, if you count the broken one, FOUR) and that those birds have horrible dark ideas about humor and no sense of propriety at all. And how could I have such poorly behaved rude rebellious appallingly impolite creatures in my garden anyway?
I will eagerly await your advice on how I should have handled this delicate situation. In the meantime I admit to having simply removed the offending fallen sky from my guest’s thankfully-short hair with a wet cloth. But it wasn’t long before she observed, “Well, I gotta run. Must wash my hair.”
Should I have brought out shampoo right away? How about a shotgun and gone after the bird? Should we both have pretended there was no bird poop on anyone’s head? Let me know.
[Max cannot believe I wrote about that.]