Monday, May 18, 2015


That is a very misleading title, because I have no pictures.

I have no pictures, because the sun is setting, and pictures would not turn out if I took them now.  My limbs ache, my skin is tacky with old sunscreen and dried sweat, and my scent is unpleasant.  Perhaps tonight I will bathe before bed, a long, slow soak in Epsom salts.

Last year I planted zinnias and nasturtiums, and they brought me a great deal of happiness.  So, this year I decided to plant seeds again.  I bought alyssum, zinnias, cosmos and cleome (I believe I just listed them in height order from shortest to tallest).

No nasturtiums.  Shawn doesn't care for them.  He doesn't like sunflowers, either, because when he was little, one of his cousins told him that aliens physically entered sunflowers and possessed them while spying on humans and plotting to overtake the world.  Sunflowers have always given Shawn the creeps, but I'm not sure why he dislikes nasturtiums.  Maybe it's because the summer I grew them in NY, I was always sneaking them into salads to be fancy; they are very peppery-hot.  I did not serve nasturtiums even once last summer, though.

So anyway, I planted alyssum, zinnias, cosmos and cleome, whole packets of seeds sprinkled liberally into the small spaces of my garden plot.  They were not Burpee seeds.

The alyssum came up quite well.  A few zinnia seedlings finally made an appearance.  I believe I counted four (4) cosmo seedlings.  As for the cleome--three weeks later, there is not a single sprout of cleome. "Easy to grow!" the cleome packet had claimed.  Next year I will try Burpee cleome seeds and see if they work any better.

Today I went to a garden center; Prairie Gardens, it's called, and it's kind of like Hafner's in North Syracuse, except it carries dishes, jewelry, scarves, furniture, wedding supplies, and candles, in addition to all the garden stock you can imagine.

I bought bedding plants:  cosmos and cleome, since my seeds had made such a poor (or non-existent) showing.  I also bought some white snapdragons because they were there, and because my Grandma Rainbow always used to plant snapdragons (she also planted zinnias).  I like flowers that remind me of her.

I stuck my little bedding plants into my garden, in and amongst the fading foliage from my tulips and daffodils.  The beauty has not been made manifest yet; it is a garden in transition.

Oh my word.  Rabbits.

While planting my bedding plants, I noticed what looked like zinnia seedlings that may have been chewed off.  Of course, it is very difficult to identify a seedling when only the stem is left.  Right.

But.  Rabbits.  I meant to sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes around my new baby plants.  Better go do that now.  In the dark.


Shannon said...

I kind of understand the repulsion caused by sunflowers because they do look quite a lot like periscopes that are disguised as (obviously fake) plants. But - this just struck me - do you remember the sunflower house in the sunflower garden back when we were little enough to fit into a sunflower house? Delightful!

Additionally, I did not know that Dad is not a fan of nasturtium. I had to google them just now because I can remember the rounded, almost lilypad shape of their leaves but couldn't remember the flowers. But the flowers look lovely to me! How could he not like nasturtium? Even if he doesn't like the greens, which I also don't totally understand but taste is one thing and disliking bright, sunny flowers that look like other bright, sunny flowers?

I bought watercress on a bit of a lark a week or two ago (heh, what a turn of phrase, yeah?) without knowing what it tasted like, and it is also peppery-spicy and when I looked it up on good old wikipedia, it turns out watercress has the genus name Nasturtium. Nasturtium, it turns out, has a completely different genus name (Tropaeolum) and is only called that because it produces an oil that is similar to an oil from watercress. So I guess science is just weird.

So maybe someday I will plant some nasturtium and then enjoy bright flowers and spicy greens in salads all the time. If all lettuce tasted like that, I would make less of a stink about how it is only a vehicle for the really good salad stuff.

Anyway, Dad, if you want to weigh in and defend yourself from my reckless character assassination, I'm here for that.

ruth said...

Ah the sunflower house. What a glorious memory, even though we only did it once (partially because of Dad's aversion to sunflowers, which we did not discuss, as I did not want it to be the foundation of new phobias).

That sunflower house was supposed to have morning glories, which would vine up the sunflowers and then connect across the top, forming a canopy. We went on vacation and the kindness of one who was watering and mowing for us caused him to go above and beyond, and "weed" the sunflower house plot, thus uprooting and destroying all the baby morning glories. Sigh. But it was a cozy secret place, nonetheless, and promoted much fun and not a few tea parties before it was notoriously razed by the Great Labor Day Storm. When was that? 1998?