Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2002
Dear Diary:

Hey, did I mention that I stole from a church when I was in Montreal?


Ah, there, see ... you only THINK you know me.

The deal was that as the daughter and I walked up and down Sherbrooke St. we passed this church which had a lovely little perennial garden very close to the sidewalk. And right on the edge of this garden were beautiful, tall, pure white, single-blossomed hollyhocks.

As my three loyal readers well know, I have a thing for antique plants and single-blossomed hollyhocks are most definitely antique.

Now before you judge me too harshly about this church theft business, I want to state right here, right now for the record that I passed that garden THREE FREAKING TIMES before I was overcome with plant lust and I reached in and took three seed pods from one of the white hollyhock plants.

I know. Gardening has Turned Me Into An Outlaw And Drawn Me Into A Life Of Crime. I'm heading straight for the fire and brimstone.

I don't care.

I have my needs.

I think that if it had been any colour but white I might have been able to resist, but oh, man, pure white is one of the most beautiful colours in the garden. At dusk and during moonlit nights it glows in the most wonderful way, and the blossoms seem to be just floating in nothingness.

And ohhhhh, the perfume of white plants. I'm a sucker for the perfumed plants.

I don't care what anyone says, I think black-eyed susans are highly underrated and I love them to bits.Gardens are just a seething mass of seduction anyhow. It's true. Gardens are the seedy, red-light districts of the plant world. "Oh, bay-bee you know you want some of THIS," says the black-eyed susan. "Ignore that skank ho'," sniffs the michaelmas daisy. "Darlin' you knows *I* gots what you NEED."

Only, it's not us they're after. They want the bees. Bees are the studs of the plant world.

Except for the white plants. See, bees work on colour and white does not set off their bells and whistles. So the white plants, in order to get home hot bug stud action, have turned to perfume which lures in the moths.

So, while the plant hybridizers have managed to pretty much breed the perfume out of most plants, white plants remind us of how gardens used to be.

Except ... well, some white plants emit a "perfume" that's best described as um interesting. Cleome, for instance, fully lives up to its common nickname of skunk flower, at times emitting a smell that makes roadkill seem like Chanel No. 5. After all, it's about seducing bugs, not humans.

And oh, aren't you so very, very glad I'm sharing all this? Yes, yes we gardeners ARE outlaws, but that's not to say that we're INTERESTING outlaws.


My garden glows just as the sun is setting.  It's my favourite time of day during the fall.Here, where I live, we're in a sort of bonus round. We should have had a killing frost about three weeks ago, but nature has decided to take her time this year about bringing the curtain down.

The yellows which tend to dominate a fall garden are set on fire by the glow of a setting sun. It's my favourite time of day this time of year.

There are times when I wonder why I do this. My calluses have calluses now.

I spent most of the last week on my knees replanting the 4,000 or so daffodils that we had to dig out of the path of the backhoe this summer as it tore through the edge of my daffodil meadow. Trust me, it's not fun or easy to plant that many little ugly brown hunks of nothing and by the time I was done both my back and my knees were screaming.

But you know, this is where I find my peace. And every time I plant a bit of green, or a bulb or a seed, believing that it will survive to grow another year and I will survive to see it, I brush about as close to faith as I can come.

I still haven't decided whether I should laugh or cry over that.


Old Drivel - New Drivel

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Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -

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