By LYNNE IRONS
I could never make it in the corporate world, or even at a real job for that matter. I chained myself to my desk last weekend in order to catch up on some sorely neglected paperwork. I lasted about 15 minutes when my Van Bourgondien bulb catalog caught my eye. I perused for a while and gave them a ring. Many of the items I coveted were sold out as it is late for ordering. That did not hinder me from hitting the credit card any way. I made some interesting selections which should be arriving straightaway. Luckily they had plenty of my favorite daydream emperor tulip. I ordered one hundred. Both the emperors and the Darwins will come back year after year. For years I bought Angelique and Mt. Tahoma only to be disappointed after the first year.
I have probably planted bushels of daffodils over 35 years on this piece of earth. I rarely feel satisfied. I think skunks or mice eat them, or even worse I plant on top of them endlessly. Never to be discouraged, I ordered several hundred more. I justify the expenditure by claiming never to get my hair done or go to the movies.
I also purchased more crocuses. I love having a first food available for the honeybees when they emerge on a warm spring day.
Both the garden mums and fall asters are in full glorious bloom. I hope one of these years I remember to snip each back in June so they will be more compact by next October. Once again mine are flopping hither and yon.
I grew a remarkable amount of celeriac, a.k.a. celery root. I believe I placed them too close together as the root is not as large as I envisioned. It will require a bit of patience and perseverance to peel them. I am fond of the vegetable. It has a celery taste without the strings. It is great in soups and stews and wonderful raw in salads.
Something weird happened to my Brussels sprouts. The plant is terrific — bug free and over three feet tall. The bitter sprouts on the stems have all opened so instead of being little tight cabbages they are flowers instead. Honestly, it is never the perfect world.
I bought myself a new book, The Elements of Organic Gardening by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. Apparently Prince Charles has been an avid gardener for more than two decades. He noted in his introduction that when he was young he witnessed the wanton and unnecessary destruction of his country’s rich habitats and woodlands. He saw centuries of man working in harmony with nature ripped up in a mechanized instant by agribusiness. He set about to right what he saw as a great wrong. He began his studies by reading Sir Albert Howard — probably the preeminent figure in the world of organic agriculture and horticulture. Twenty-five years ago, organic gardening was not highly regarded as it is today. The hippies and some other kooks were trying it out but you would have been hard-pressed to find an organic section in a regular supermarket. At any rate it is a beautiful book with great photographs of the English countryside.
I don’t feed the birds but do plant ornamentals for them to glean. My crabapple is loaded with beautiful tiny fruits. There are many chickadees enjoying them right now. I like to leave a lot of annuals for edible seed as well.
Isn’t it amazing how much disdain President Obama received for being awarded the Nobel peace prize? He accepted it with a great deal of humility and recognition of his unworthiness. What more could he possibly do? Some Americans considered it unpatriotic for George Bush to be held in contempt. Do I live in an alternate universe?