Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Magic is Back

I get so excited when springtime happens. It’s almost magical when the new leaves bud out and the early flowers bloom . . . even though I’m the one who planted most of what’s budding and blooming, and shouldn’t be surprised by what’s happening at all.

You know?

So it’s that time again.

Sweet lilac is blooming, so is jasmine and a couple of ground covers. But the one that smacks me in the face each year, knocks me right off my pins with its beauty is the peony.


 Can it get any prettier than that?

Well, that depends on what you like best. I’ll show you what I mean.

See? It’s really hard to choose what you like best . . . unless you have a bias to start with.

Anyway, look quick. ‘Cause they’ll be gone soon.


Gotta Get Out

Have you got it? That itch to get out and get your hands dirty? It hits me every year.

Of course, it doesn’t hit me like it does my dad. He gets the urge early on. Plants potatoes on March 17th. And when one of his brothers is around, they discuss how tall this is, and how’re you doing your tomatoes this year. (Answer: Cattle panel on each side, all the way down the row.)

When I hear that talk, it starts.

I have a feeling my yen to garden is not unlike what a serial killer feels when he starts wanting to get back to his hobby. “Gotta plant it. Gotta fertilize it. Gotta grow it. I just can’t feel right until I do.”

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Garden Fear

This may get me into trouble with the law. In fact, it might really get my blog banned, but I’m going to tell you about it anyway. As a warning. Yeah. That’s it. A warning!

Don’t let this happen to you. Pretty Azalea, isn’t it? This isn’t the bully. This beautiful plant acts like a lady and very quietly grows at the office. I just wanted you to see something beautiful before I introduced you to the harsh realities of life in a garden.

Warning: The following pictures may be disturbing. Continue at your own risk.

This is the bully.

You can’t see it, but there’s a pyramid doohicky under that blaze of color. (The Wordsmith is off duty today. Sorry.)

Once upon a time, the pyramid looked something like this.

 Here’s what happened–We bought two vines and the pyramid a couple of years ago. The tiny vines were so small and innocent looking, I wondered if they’d ever cover enough of the support for it to look right, so I carefully planted them and wound their tender arms in and around the pyramid.

Every few days I’d run out and keep them headed the right direction, just in case they didn’t know where they were supposed to be. I talked to them, too. I might even have named them. “That’s right, Sweet Baby, grow on!”

Sweet Baby. I really think that was my big mistake.

I mentioned the other day that I was too big a weenie to do much in my garden last summer. So while I wasn’t looking, my tiny vine turned into a bully. Aggressive isn’t a strong enough word for it. He became the Axis Powers!(Surprise, I don’t remember that war. I learned that in History Class.)

After he swallowed the obelisk whole (I looked up the “real” word) he started reaching out to grab plants around it. He grows over them and entwined them in his tendrils, just taking them over as if he had the right.

 If he continues in the way he’s been acting, he’ll likely choke them.

Vine Homer and Daisy Bart

Isn’t there a law against what he’s doing?

I really don’t know what to do, short of something drastic. I’m honestly afraid that if I stand still very long while I’m out there, he’ll grow right over me!

I’ll have to do something drastic. Maybe take my garden shears out and whack him back. I probably should get an ax. Or even a machete. It’s starting to look like a jungle out there.

I just ran out this morning and did a mind meld with him.

The red star is hanging on my fence at the back of the garden.

I think (I’m kind of new at mind melding with plants so I’m not positive) he’s trying to reach the star(s) to eat them. Nobody tell him they’re on my fence and not in outer space. He’s liable to go supercharged.

If he did that, I’d have to rename him A-II! Now if he just had Levi Stubbs’s voice, I’d invite y’all over to feed  him–er–hear him. 🙂

Ps: Name that movie!