Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Thorn is Sharp and Swollen

I planted wildflowers in my front yard in the spring. For about 2 months, I thought they were duds. Nothing popped up except thistles and dandelions, and I do not consider those two guys “flowers” except in the most generic Linneus-system way. No matter how sweetly worn, prickly thistles do not belong in a seed packet.
But, after finally rolling up my sleeves and pulling the weeds from the “flower patch”, I’ve found a very delightful surprise. Within the last month, the flowers have taken off like they mean it. There are black-eyed susans, alyssum, purply things, pink things, lots and lots of yellow things. And they look like they’re supposed to be there. Our goal with outdoor living is to no longer be the scourge of the neighborhood because of our nasty yard, and I think the flowers move us up a notch.
Yesterday, I saw a tiny yellow and black bird sitting on one of the flowers, eating the seeds. I tried to look it up online so I could impress you by knowing its name, but it turns out that googling “yellow black bird” does not yield good results. I don’t recommend it.
I worked with artists at one point in my life. They needed a picture of a zucchini plant for a project they were working on. I googled “zucchini”. Oh, bad choice.
Last week, a dear friend told me that my delphinium is poisonous. I guess the front porch wouldn’t be a good place for it, then?
So, I’m thinking a lot about plants. If I put the delphinium next to the thistle patch, will it kill the thistles? Are thistles edible? Can I call them “salad” and let them grow?
I have a spot in the flower garden where all the water runs. I planted moss there. It’s the Irish part of the garden. 5 feet away, I have a spot that never gets touched by water. I put in an aloe, and call it “Arizona.” And, having learned my lesson in my last house (sorry to the people who live there now), I planted my mint in plastic containers in the ground. They’ve taken off, as mint does, but they have boundaries. Hmm, I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.