Friday, August 16, 2013

The ugly death of a one-trick pony

I wouldn't call myself a plant snob. Well, obviously. I just have exquisite good taste when it come to my horticultural choices. OK, apart from my penchant for blousy dahlias, retro candytuft, peonies so frou-frou that even Barbara Cartland would have blanched. And she was pretty blanched to start off with - I love Clive James' description of her eyes "the corpses of two crows that had flown into a chalk cliff".

Anyway, I digress, but it is my prerogative to do so. To get back to the point - I don't think I'm snobbish about plants. Except hydrangeas. However, Somebeans begs to differ, considering me a plant snob of the worst sort when it comes to Forsythia. He thinks that I won't give it room in the garden because it's common and it's bright, whereas he rather likes it and thinks it brings a bit of colour early in the year.

Pah. I like yellow. My garden is full of dandelions, for a start.


What I'm not keen on, as a gardener without rolling acres, are one trick ponies that don't pull their weight for the rest of the year. Yes, Forsythia - I'm looking at you. Twiggy and not a great looker once the flush of yellow has vanished. If you're lucky, you might get a bit of fasciation, but that's more of a freakish talking point than a thing of beauty.

But.... I have to admit there is a one trick pony that I adore, and will have nothing bad said against. A flush of fragrant flowers, and some nondescript, rather dull leaves without autumn colour. And its flowers once they have died - oh dear.

Even I can't defend them, and most of the time I'm not fast enough at pruning them off. But, for their flowers, their scent, I can forgive them everything. They transport me back to my childhood and fill me with joy. Forsythia, when you can do that, I'll find a space in the garden for you.

Yes - I can forgive lilac anything.
Even their ugly death.

Note: No ponies were harmed in the making of this blog post.

1 comment:

Casa Mariposa said...

I have a few one trick ponies that I forgive multiple sins. Their flowers are worth the wait and their briefness makes them all the more special. Of course, my list of such plants is quite short because I prefer the workhorses to the show ponies. :o)