Wednesday, February 14, 2024

the season


Chat Noir Dahlia

Dear Shovels and Spades,

Every so often, say 6, 7 years cyclically, I get a great notion to 'garden.'  It's a Mr. Toad mania, fueled by the enchantment of words (which actually, I believe were first invented to incant, to put a spell on), and the poetic promise of potential of growth.  This time, I ripped out a bunch of perfectly charming, thriving plants (from a previous 'episode' of gardening) to put in raised beds and do a 'cutting garden.'  Mostly based on expensive dahlia bulbs, which would perish (unlike the plants I removed!) in our clayey, gloppy, dark and fecund soil.  So, in a classic Colonialist move, I filled these land containers, these raised beds, with pricy, purchased, bagged dirt dripping with absurdity, privilege ,and hubris!  Drainage problem solved!  Maybe?  Do tubers grow well in hubris?

Anyway, it all has culminated in a beautiful little ditty I'd like to share with you now:

GAR-den-ning is a

suck-ee suck-ee job,

Where you murder the plants

 and you piss off the worms!

GAR-den-ning is a 

suck-ee suck-ee job, 

where you mud up your clothes

and you ruin your shoes! 

(Sorry about the lack of score; if I could remember my piano and guitar lessons well enough to write down the notes, I probably would also remember what happened last time I got the bug to garden.  Just make up your own tune.)

To garden, you must also, in the great tradition of gardeners everywhere, leave your tools out in the rain/sleet/snow to rust, possibly maiming you later, or causing you to just "buy another one."  

A few more words on shoes and women:  whenever I garden, I enjoy/despise the words of E. B. White when he tells us that his beatific wife would garden in her Ferragamo's. Put that down to "words; incantations" and file it under  X with "talking spider." Because, although I love these two instances of words, I don't really believe either of 'em!

And, Happy Mud Season to my fellow aflictees everywhere!  


Additional, interesting information on the madre of the modern dahlia, Acocotli or Chichipatli.  If time constrains you, read that, over the Chat Noir link.