Saturday, June 13, 2009

is it catching?

I often wander into the gardens of Parkwood Estate so that I may borrow for a while a green space, wonderful trees and some flowers. And in my own obsessive way, I name the plants I see and wonder about the plants I don't know by name. It's an odd game: name, name, name, maybe, I wonder, name, name, name. Ah! Name! ... name. Very, very satisfying.

Having lunch with my Oldest and Other Favorite Daughter the other day, listening to her tell about the changes she has made in her garden recently, I realized that gardeners are an odd bunch. Of course, WE don't think we are strange at all. But I've had to face facts! Most people are probably -- and incomprehensibly in my mind -- only interested in having things look relatively neat, attractive and maybe even a bit colourful in the garden. O & OFD said that is the case for her. In her busy life, she only has room for pots of flowers and herbs near her kitchen door. She doesn't have time for the stuff gardeners willingly spend hours doing.

She thought it was hilarious that I understood exactly what Kim meant by the lovely horizontal branching habit of a double-file viburnum! (non-gardeners are rolling their eyes here if they have managed to read this far!!)

But, non-gardeners beware. It is contagious. As I am taking over the lawn in front of my apartment building bit by bit, other tenants are getting more and more interested. Other tenants have expanded upon the beds and more colourful bits of this and that are going in. I suspect even as the squirrels wreak mayhem and murder upon our tender plants, hopefully and bravely, we guerilla-gardeners are occupying more space. Tomatoes, herbs, roses, hostas and marigolds have snuck in somehow!

Even across the street, a large concrete bowl has appeared by the front step and it is filled with bright red geraniums. A rustic wooden bench has been placed out front and on it are a couple of clay pots filled with I'm not sure what, but it is GREEN! A building down the road has daylilies and hostas now in the shade under the maples and a colourful array of perennials in the narrow space at the edge of the parking lot behind the building!

Even what I presume are non-gardeners are paying attention to what is going on in the neighborhood. Other tenants in the building and passersby have given me compliments. Oh, and of course, there have been expressions of alarm as well. "The beds are too big." "The flowers will attract vandals." "The pots will be smashed or stolen."

The only alarm that I pay any attention to is over the squirrels. They are my personal fly in the ointment and I fear I'll soon be in danger of going over the edge with regard to their mindless depredations! (hysterical laughter!)

A taxi driver suggested the other day that I get a dog.

"But what about the digging and damage a dog might do?" I asked.

"I gave you a solution to your first problem!"



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