Soon to be renowned!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


It's cooler when you say it out loud. MAY-oss. Like chaos but in May. May chaos, get it? Vernal disorder; a dapper springtime riot; the unbridled, reawakened beast that is the horticultural industry come Mother's Day. Did I mention that I work at a garden center? This time of year, garden centers become the hot, dense, raging cauldrons from which Maos issues forth. They are unruly mobs of flowers, hanging baskets and startled gardeners in whose face Spring just exploded. Maos. I don't know. When you read it, it seems forced. Is it the spelling? Does seeing “Maos” unleash a gaggle of Chinese Marxists to foment revolution in the mind's eye? That's a different sort of chaos altogether, and not at all what I intended. Or does it read like some tiny, easily-forgotten nation treading water in the vague expanse between Zimbabwe and the South Pacific? Either way, it's failing to convey this howling vortex of plants, customers and physical fatigue I am invoking in order to justify a complete lack of progress on all fronts Fencebroke.
Maybe if we spell it m-a-y-o-s—
OK, bad idea, now we're talking a selection of sandwich spreads. That's tasty, but no great excuse for a gardening stalemate. I'll just leave it as Maos. Deal with it. It's why, at the end of the day, I have little energy for anything but collapsing onto the living room floor and spending “play time” as a half-asleep, passive jungle gym for my daughter to climb on and explore. I keep hoping Daisy will take a hint and learn to weed the garden, or at least do some watering already. Daddy's tired. Why don't you go “play” with the dandelions for a while.
Despite repeated bouts of Maos, I ought to mention that I have managed to mow the lawn. Twice. This requires minimal physical or mental coordination, and though I may resemble nothing so much as an injured zombie shuffling behind and leaning on the mower, it still seems a noteworthy (if not quite blogworthy) accomplishment. In addition, I bent some chicken wire over fenceposts and called it an arbor. That's good enough for May.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Before and After/Persian Pickles

I get a mulligan, right? A redo? That's how gardens work, if I'm not mistaken. It's kind of an unspoken rule amongst gardeners.

That being the case, I'll go ahead and use my mulligan here, with this vaguely paisley-shaped (or is it paisle-shaped?) bed I put together.
Don't get me wrong, the shape is fine, I mean who doesn't love paisley? (Actually, I'm going to interject here that “Vaguely Paisley” has some serious potential as a band name. Whoever wants it, take it. My royalty fees are reasonable.) See, I even sprung for the plastic lawn edging to help maintain and emphasize that fantastic shape. (Oh, but you know who doesn't love paisley, I bet? Zebras. It would just look terrible on them.) So the shape of the bed is fine. Unless you're a zebra, I expect no complaints about this elegant, voluptuous slither of a bed outline. No, I just don't like the plants I put in it. That's a serious problem if you're a gardener—not so much if you're a zebra. (Hey, fun fact: according to Wikipedia, the paisley motif is often referred to as “Persian pickles” by traditional American quiltmakers.) Once the bed was cut and prepped—a lone, vestal pickle just lying there—I think I panicked at the sight of such a svelte swath of unplanted earth and just started interring anything within arm's reach. Flitting about the sordid process were several newborn and timid themes, vying meekly for my attention: a bed for cutting flowers! A bed for ornamental edibles! A small, reniform swimming pool! (OK, this is terrific, can anyone guess how the Welsh textile industry referred to the paisley design? Of course you can't. “Welsh pears”. That's what they called it.) The end product achieved none of these goals admirably, and is more or less a hodge-podge of whatever plants I had lying around. (They must have some funny looking pears in Wales. Or pickles in Persia, for that matter.) So I'd like to start over, if I could. Ctrl Z on this mess of desperate planting and Paisleyed miscellany. And to formalize the illusion, I'll just post the same picture for “Before” and “After” and pretend nothing happened in between. Just showing off Fencebroke's newest Persian pickle. What do you think?