Thursday, February 11, 2010

Garden Non Destruction, Thanks P*n*s of the Prairie

I was expecting people to whack me upside the head, not agree with my reasoning. I hate blue jays because they wake me up in the morning? It's too much work? Have you seen the glory that is my garden? Look here. Here I mean. That is heaven--especially when the monarchs come.

No no no. I want to double the size. But not here. I am very unhappy with the front, though--hostas and astilbes that I once thought were my best options for shade and part shade. After 2.5 years, I've schooled myself real good in this area--plus I want something more uniform. That means all / mostly carex. Sedge I mean. Should do well in a permanently moist, compost-enriched, half slim shadey sorta spot that stays frozen late into spring. I'm still looking for the best carex. Maybe I will just plant carex in between the hostas and astilbes. And a dogwod or two.

Point is folks, I'm sorry for the deception, and shocked at the gardeners who came here and said go for it. Yikes. I'm the guy who tosses wildflower seed over the fence on to the neighbor's acreage, and out the car window going 50 on nearby semi-rural roads. The inside of my car is sprouting coneflowers and milkweed between the cushions.

I'm a seed flinger, just like the inspirational statue atop the nearby Nebraska state capitol, the Penis of the Prairie as we locals call it.

Look at the big foot that seedy gent has. You know what that means.


mr_subjunctive said...

Sure. It means you're looking at him at such a weird angle that his foot looks a lot bigger than it really is.

If that is indeed even a foot. Or a statue.

And I know Nebraska doesn't have a state capitol building, so you're not fooling me with that one.

And yeah, like I believe milkweed sprouts in car cushions.

Lies, lies, all of it.

Les said...

Big feet --- big shoes.

You asked about snow, we have gotten more than we have in 20 years, but not nearly the horrific amount further north. I do have a snow posting, check out Snowpocalypse 2010

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain about the front yard, Benjamin and want to share our solution used here, Yellow Acorus. It loves moist but can take dry too, doesn't seed or spread but can be divided to one blade per root section and fill in in a heartbeat. It looks the same all year, is of low height and is a pretty yellow.

We had plants sprout in the carpeting in our old minivan, a greenhouse on wheels, seriously. So I believe you.

I won't comment on what seems to be a male conversation concerning the architectural wonder and ped size.


allanbecker-gardenguru said...

I have just discovered a new adverb in your blog:- "real good".
Is that a mid-western colloquialism or has the evolution of the English language passed me by? My wife teaches English as a Second Language and that adverb is is not found in her curriculum.
Yesterday's blog led me to believe that you were giving up on gardening. I'm happy to read that your garden is evolving.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Mr. S.--If it's not a foot, what is it? If not a statue, what? Hmmm???? You are sooooo jealous of our capitol building because Iowa's looks like some Russian Orthodox gold leaf nipple thing. Pimped out Des Moines because Iowa knows what Iowa is--boring (so is Nebraska).
Les--Of course, big shoes. Not anything else that rhymes with venus.
Frances--Oh, acorus, I'd not thought of that! Maybe....
Allan--Hey, give this published writer and English PhD some credit--that sentence was worded that way for emphatic reasons, and perhaps I did midwest it up a bit. I would never give up gardening, don't worry, I just sometimes like to cause trouble on my blog--mostly to wake me up after grading 25 essays that all sound the same.

allanbecker-gardenguru said...

Benjamin, Our exchanges today has shown me what happens to spoken language when it is written out of context. I’ll bet that if I was present when you spoke there would have been a nuance in your voice, or a subtle facial expression that would have told me that you were deliberately misusing “really good” for emphasis. You in turn, would have recognized in my spoken comment, that I was deliberately being facetiously in deference to your professional stature, which I noted when I first discovered your site.

Honestly, I wasn’t trying to be critical because I respect who you are. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

What I wrote was a knee-jerk reaction because I had noticed a change in the spirit of your blog writing. I follow over 40 gardening blogs. Yours was added to my Google Reader because of the sublime writing. The week you began teaching, that writing switched from beautiful almost poetic prose to a clipped and informal style. It’s perfectly understandable, given your new responsibilities, but I miss the prose.

I suppose that if I want to continue to enjoy your written work, I will have to buy one of your books or wait until classes are over.

JJacobsen said...

What a great blog! I am originally from Nebraska although I live in Minnesota now. I really miss Nebraska's simple, understated beauty. I guess you have to grow up there to appreciate it.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Allan--For all the power that the written word can have, it is almost entirely impossible to convey humor--or more importantly sarcasm. It seems to me one has to be over the top, and thus ridiculous, or so under the radar that the tone takes time to accumulate, like snowfall (or garden loam?).

I know the blog has not been what I'd like it to be, but I've felt torn between many, many academic and professional duties. I've been working on a more reflective, lyrical post, but I'm hesitant to put such things up knowing they might become pieces I'd like to publish, or are edits of pieces that are slated to be sent out soon. In a world where folks effortlessly steal writing via the conveniance of the web, what's a writer to do? I'd say yes, please go buy a book, but I only have one pitiful poetry chapbook out in the world--all the full length manuscripts are under editor's noses in slush piles. I receive anywhere from 3 to 5 or more rejections a week on various writing--yet another source for my occasional angst on this blog.... Don't leave, I enjoy our conversations.

James Golden said...

Well, I fell for it. I thought of expressing regret, but then I remembered how easily I gave up my last garden to move to this house on Federal Twist Road, where I garden in wet clay and can't even think of growing many plants I love. We make changes, even abandon gardens, or rip them out. Not so bad even for a seed thrower.

Benjamin Vogt said...

You're doing some bang up things out in that wet clay, James. Personally, I'm almost to the point where I can't imagine not gardening in it (even when it dries out to to brick status). Sure, there are some significant struggles, but I like the challenge--discovering the plants that will work and that I think a lot of people tend to overlook. Of course, it'd be nice if I could move a plant without the help of a winch, or not have the entire state stuck to the end of my shovel.