© Jennifer Giandalone, June 11, 2003
The garden has been a source of great joy, physical movement and
exercise, panic, awe, melting beauty. I
caught myself muttering aloud, “The Verdant Garden.”
Then it sounded pretentious so I abandoned
Peanut Brittle sauntered by with a snake
yesterday while I was watching a couple of guys dig for our septic system top.
John said he saw her kill it. With
one swift, sharp shake of her head, the young reptile became green-striped
spaghetti. Or so I thought until I
picked it up, thinking it might still be alive, because it didn’t look limp to
me. It wasn’t.
I placed it on the plow, and it held its
shape. Dead snakes turn stiff quickly I theorize due to their cold-blooded
I was upset that she killed something.
I don’t think it could be her, but we’ve
had two dead gray squirrels turn up in the door yard as well.
So when I heard of a friend’s battle with an unknown garden varmint, I
“Rent a small herd of miniature dachshunds
for a week, that should do it.”
Actually, I’d try dried blood first.
You can find it at the garden center in with the fertilizers. It’s very effective in repelling rabbits, if that’s your
culprit. It’s a good source also
“Sharp sand,” I’ve read, is effective in repelling—or this
perhaps might even kill—slugs. I
haven’t used it.
Little in nature surprises me much anymore
except things like finding a jack-in-the-pulpit blooming right smack in the
middle of a gorgeous swathe of blue rug juniper.
Here is an argument for bird
shit! That’s got to be how it
landed up growing there, wouldn’t you think?
In the distance, non-stop, I hear the staccato needle-piercing shriek of Peanut
Brittle’s “alert” bark.
Doesn’t that dog ever tire?
It’s time to go fetch the bratwurst and
return the neighborhood to some measure of peace.
Will stroll along the verdant garden on route to doing so, drinking in--
all the while-- orange Oriental poppies, quite flopped over from incessant
rain-forest-like conditions. Everything’s
lush but quite fragile.
Got the crap scared out of me on Friday when
the sun emerged after three or four days. I
dashed out to survey the garden and was met by voluminous balloon-bouquet
clusters of various colors and shapes of mushrooms. It was an enchanted child’s enchanted garden, and I’m mad
at myself for not having sat down right then and drawn it, or written about it.
Perhaps that can come from memory.
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