Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I know it is unfashionable to complain. Yet I find sometimes a strange satisfaction in complaint. I’m not sure where that comes from.
Dissatisfaction overruling gratitude seems downright evil. Yet these feeling overcome us all. It is especially bad when the complaining gets petty, is destructive or just plain mean.
That said, here I go...
I was up at Tilth the other day not the restaurant but the lovely gardens that surround the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford. I just happened to be in the neighborhood and thought I might find a daphne in bloom. I needed a photo for my latest “Garden Notes” column.
I saw this small clump of snowdrops that seemed unusual, ill, maladroit. So I bent down to get a better look. The only way to really appreciate snowdrops is to bend down and get a closer look, no matter how many times someone tells you that a little vase of snowdrops on your night stand is just the thing. This little clump of clumsy snowdrops were double. A bubbly, warty sort of double. Now I have no problem with horticulturalists creating double flowers, especially if they’re in the aster family. I love cactus-flowered dahlias, State Fair zinnias and purple chinese asters come fall. But when it comes to the lily family I find doubling ugly. Double tulips, split-cupped narcissus, double asiatic lilies and bubbly snow\drops seem marred. A perfect simplicity unnecessarily complicated. To hobble the grace of such elegant flowers is bitterly cruel. When we were warned to not gild the lily I think we were also being warned not to fluff it up, ruffled they become clowns in the garden.
As well as being a complainer I am also a rule breaker, especially my own rules. I forgive all the horticulturalists who fiddled with snowdrops, narcissus, lilies, and tulips, because I love the peony flowered tulip “ Black Hero”
What can I say?
I’m complicated.

No I don't have tulips blooming already. This is a photo from last year.