Garden Holidays

Countries and religions, cultures and families have holidays and special celebrations.  Why not gardens?

One of my garden's yearly holidays is "First Green Bean Day",  which is something like the garden's equivalent of Mardi Gras.  Mardi Gras is a big party, then the 40 days of  Lenten sacrifice, then another party in the form of Easter.  "First Green Bean Day" is a big party celebrating the first utterly delicious green beans of the summer.  The first ones are always wonderful after nearly a year of absence.  But then the Lent-like ordeal:  daily picking so the beans don't get too big and tough,  and lot of green beans for dinner.  Lots.  Every night.  And then the other party:  the plants are done and there are no more green beans, and it's a party because, good though green beans are, by then we're all sick of them.  Tuesday was "First Green Bean Day" this year.

Green Beans

Another of my garden's holidays has to be the emergence of a new rose--it's like a new baby, but without crying or diapers.  This rose has undoubtedly rooted (from a cutting stuck in the ground last January or February) and it's a wonderful thing to celebrate:

Baby Rose

There are other "event" days not so happy as a new baby rose. For example, the garden equivalent of the Cornwallis surrender at Yorktown, October 19, 1781. In my garden, that would be yesterday, when I threw just about all my Cymbidium orchids in the green waste bin and sent them off to entombment with a lot of other, stop. It was my fault, not theirs. In that long long eleven-month interval of ugliness between blooms, I would forget about them. The Santa Ana winds would toss them around, scattering bark chunks and undissolved Osmocote everywhere. It just wasn't working. We were not happy together. I surrendered: I admit my interest in Cymbidiums, unless they belong to someone else and are in bloom, has shriveled like an unwatered petunia. YES I TRASHED THEM ALL.

Okay, almost all. I picked a few likely clumps and planted them in the ground under the monster Brugmansia.


Perfect drainage; dappled shade. If they live, fantastic, but no more balcony full of bark rattling in a dry wind. Their new spot is also conveniently located next to the compost pile, just in case. Poor trashed Cymbidiums--if only you had an appetite for green beans.

Reprieved Cymbidiums

I feel better. That's what holidays are all about.

And in other holidays: for yesterday's Bloomsday, 'Irish Hope', of course!

Rosa 'irish Hope'


  1. Green beans definitely deserve a holiday in their honor. And so do artichokes. And speaking of long intervals of ugliness between bloom, I can't stand to keep brugs for that reason but then always end up wishing I had one right about now. I have a little courtyard that cries out for one. I'm wondering what your thoughts are on brugs out of bloom.

  2. My thought on Brugs out of bloom: ???. Give 'em a hit of Miracle Grow Lawn Food, wait 5 minutes and they'll be blooming again. My monster blooms almost continually--no, cut the "almost". Continually. The highlight of taking the garbage out after dinner is the Brug perfume on still evening air.

    My problem with Brugs is the unending torrent of litter they produce, not that the litter doesn't make great compost. Hence its position as the shade for my compost piles. Is that litter-blizzard appropriate for your courtyard?

  3. The courtyard is littered constantly anyway with what's planted near it. At least the brug litter is big and easy to sweep up. Right now it's full of "fringe" from the fringe tree. I think you've talked me back into brugs. Annies Annuals has Charles Grimaldi.

  4. I remember a house somewhere in Fountain Valley, I believe, where the entire front yard was monsterous Brugs, always covered with flowers. There was a little bermuda grass lawn, then all these extravagant Brugs.

    Charles is the choice one, isn't he. My unknown variety was a cutting my Mom gave me. I stuck it into the ground and that was it for care. A friend of hers gave it to her. His plant came from a cutting he brought back from Germany in his suitcase, because he didn't know they grew here in the US. Someone there in Germany was growing it as a houseplant. I enjoy the origins of my Brug sometimes more than the plant itself.

    Enjoy that fragrance drifting on the evening air!

  5. My cymbidiums are under the brugmansia on the side of the house. It's a good place for them. The litter covers them up.


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