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Lily Gluttony

I got “the look” tonight. It was delivered by the lady who walks here somethingorother-poo and it’s given to all of us who have too many lilies in life. You know “the look.” It combines a stare of disbelief, a roll of the eyes, a covetous sigh, and the growl of sheer, unabashed envy (the growl might have come from the dog). For a few fleeting minutes, I felt a whole lot like Marie Antoinette. But then I got over it.  And I fell back into wallowing in my lilies, the hell with the fact that the rest of the world was drooling. Let them eat hemerocallis.

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Losing the Lawn

My neighbor pulled beside me on my daily walk and rolled down her window. “Sorry,” she said apologetically, “but my lawn mower is on the fritz.” I ask you = Do I look like the type of person who loves a lawn? Do I strike you as the type who goes ballistic at the first hint of a dandelion? So I had to respond, “Have you looked at my lawn lately?” She rolled up her window and went home. Hopefully, she then noticed for the first time that my lawn has disappeared. In its place have sprouted alliums, heucheras, ornamental grasses, herbs and bulbs.

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Spring Contained

Tulipa vvedenskyi 'Tangerine Beauty'

It was a serious fumble. In bulb-planting terms, it was as close as I ever want to totter on the brink of disaster. Are we all in agreement that autumn bulb planting is akin to gambling? You continue ordering bulbs until suddenly the game shuts down. In a good year, the stakes aren’t shut down until mid-December. Last year, snow pulled the plug early. I was caught with a superfluity of bulbs and an embarrassing lack of open ground. Time to regroup.

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Hortus Bulborum — Soooo Yesterday

Just call me a relic. That’s right — rub it in — I’m obsolete. And guess what. Some of my best friends are equally archaic. And here comes the confession — my garden is a total museum. If something is old (the older, the better), I automatically yearn to grow it. It’s not hip, it’s not keeping up with the Joneses, it’s not riding the current wave, but it’s me. And when people come to my garden, they are clearly just being polite…because they seemingly love hearing the stories behind the auricula primroses that Flemish weavers grew during the cottage industry era and the Phlox ‘Old Cellar Hole’ dug up by my friend at Perennial Pleasures Nursery from an abandoned homestead.

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Craving Color South African-Style

Babiana pulchra

Let us talk about lust. I’m speaking of the insidious longing that grips a girl who pretty much has it all — botanically speaking. I’m talking about the urge that makes someone yearn after her neighbor’s bulbs. It’s depraved. It’s desire run amok. It’s sick. And Debra Lee Baldwin — with her talk of hundreds (maybe thousands, she was vague about it) of babianas in her California yard has only fueled the fires. Because right now (Lord have mercy), I’m coveting my neighbor’s greenhouse and its contents.

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