Friday, May 1, 2009

Was I hoodwinked?

I have to tell you about the time I thought I’d been hoodwinked. It all started with a catalog. I don’t get as many as I used to these days, but a few years ago they arrived in droves in my mailbox. One of the ones that came rather frequently was a gardening catalog. Its pages were filled to the brim with beautiful flowers, plants and dreams. While I don’t consider myself a gardener, I do appreciate lovely things in the yard. And this catalog had me dreaming of my latent gardening potential. I had visions of the myriad ways my house could be enhanced by purchasing just a few of their plants, which were “Guaranteed!” It never entered my mind that to embark on such a plan would require some effort on my part.

There was one photo of a flower that I kept coming back to time and again. It was simply one of the most beautiful I had ever seen. It did cross my mind that perhaps the photo was a bit of an exaggeration but the possibility that I could actually have this plant blooming in my yard helped me overcome my doubts.

So, I ordered the thing with all my hopes that one day I would have a garden of delights – blooming flowers, lovely paths, a few decorative ornaments. They all existed in my mind and I could begin with this plant as soon as the box arrived within a few short days. I watched the mailman and no box arrived, but one day I did get an oversized envelope that had been mailed in the quickest manner. Looking at the return address, I realized it had been sent from my catalog of flower dreams. “What in the world could this be?” I thought to myself. I opened it and inside was something that resembled a stick about the size of a pencil. “You have got to be kidding!” I thought. “This, THIS is my beautiful flowering shrub???!!!” I’ll admit that I didn’t pay the moon for it but I did expect it to be just slightly larger, in a real plastic flower pot and have slightly more potential that that . . . that . . . STICK! I wondered if the thing wasn’t already dead to tell you the truth. But since I had already forked over the money, I figured we couldn’t lose anything by putting it in the ground.

The amazing thing that happened was that it not only survived, it survived me! I didn’t tend to it like a mother hen. My husband and I planted it and would walk by it occasionally and say to each other, “Well, it’s still alive.” and walk away. But as they say, the plant was guaranteed and so it grew. We ignored it and it grew. Then one day it had a bud and then two. The next year it had more. Now we still don’t look after it – we want what would be in its best interest, but we do watch it and enjoy it, especially during blooming season. It is my very favorite plant in the yard. I still don’t have the garden of my dreams, but I do have one of its flowers.

(You can click on any of these photos for a larger view.)


  1. Wow, you took some amazing photos!! The peonies look so beautiful up close.
    Margaret B

  2. the peonies look so gorgeous.

  3. I love your story. I have peonies that my grandfather started. When I have moved they go with me. I always leave one or two behind, with the story of their beginnings. They mean the world to me. Sharon

  4. The peonies are beautiful. I can't grow them down here and that makes me so sad. Love the story.


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