In truth, there's not a lot of difference between the 20 or so hornbeam species, so collecting them might have been a little crazy. Still, I’m glad I did. They're all really nice trees. I've got specimens scattered around the yard and I've given several away to friends who are now in my debt and, because of that, try their best to overlook the awful things I routinely say and do when I'm around them. One thing I'll say about hornbeams that I can't say about most of my friends, they look wonderful from a distance and even better up close.
Thus, years and years of collecting has steadily been undone by an almost equal number of years de-collecting. It was hard at first, got easier over time, and now I remove an ugly plant with a strange grin on my face. It’s a god-like power I wield maniacally.
My God! I hate myself. I swear I used to be cool, like the dude in a Fistful of Dollars. Now I’m just Clint Eastwood.
This was a big summer for me. A huge summer. I had a blow out garden dinner party with a bunch of illustrious horticultural guests scheduled for the end of [...]
We've been together so much the last two weeks that it's changed everything. We've hung out together here and there before but never with so much quality time. I really feel like I know you so much better now. Although I'm trying very hard not to trust it, all this exposure has not meant I like you any less. This is not at all what I expected.
Part of why the project is so horrible is because much of the point of it is to take space that was already too full of junk and make it capable of holding even more junk. Junk had to be move out of the way, only to be in the way of the next task, and then the next.
First off, "Annual General Meeting" is simply an incomprehensibly underwhelming name for what the event actually is. NARGS must change this, because it sounds like a meeting made up of more meetings. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Muddy March Gardens, Flagrant Power Tool Violations, Heresy, Arson, & More: A [Belated] Letter from The Midwest
After returning home, I went into a power tool-fired, panic-driven, spring cleanup, trying desperately to wipe ugly out of my garden but, truth is, only some of what I did made anything look even slightly better. The real cure for March is April, and the cure for April is May. Anyway, I went into a string-trimming frenzy, slashing back sedges, grasses, perennials and slinging dirt, sticks, gravel, plant labels, cigarette butts, beer cans, and whatever else all over creation anywhere I went. I consider myself kind of a performance artist when it comes to using a string trimmer. And a pretty innovative one at that. A lot of what I do with it would show up very prominently in the DO NOT section of the operating manual if manual writers had anything like the imagination I've got.
And dark and mysterious people like me hate being called “affable.” In fact, even affable people even hate being called “affable.” Which, I’m certain you knew. And why you said it. And, guess what, I forgive you. Yes, I forgive you. Because sometimes you’re a good person.
I think you can have a really great club or society that requires at least some rules of order, but if you’re going to pry young and/or young at heart people out of their busy lives to spend time at a meeting, you had better also give them a bona fide “night out.”