Penance, Remorse and The Sweetness of Late

Bless me, Father, for I have been snotty.......
about the Catholics. I like them, really I do. It's not like that.......

(Soundtrack: Beautiful Change by the Innocence Mission)
There has been felt something on the wind in the last few days, borne up by sudden soft gusts of air, lifting my hair in gentle remonstrations, scolding me for my lack of faith. I weary of the cold and the death of leaves and plant tissue, and the incessant dampness that invades my home and my hearth. I've forgotten to tell myself the signs, like Jill, only my outlook is more Puddleglum than Pole. I've tramped past stands of my most favoritest flower in the known botanical universe, helleborus orientalis, in all it's winter-flowering glory, with nary a glance; only a grim set to my jaw as I frown and fret over my little life, the very Chestertonian "tiny and tawdry theatre where my life's plot is played out." I need to slow down and stop fretting, and work in my garden. I think all this vague unsettledness comes from the fact that winter will be gone soon and I am not ready for the spring. I still have lots of winter tidying to do: pruning (my favorite garden job) and Perennial Musical Chairs, especially because I bought some hostas and need to carve out a spot for them (all 12 of them! What can I say- I got them at Costco!) I need to put down the Edith Wharton novel (The Buccaneers, thanks Mum, it's really good) and get out there and give everything a good whack. And pick some hellebores to gaze upon their loveliness, if only for a moment.

(photo credit: geraldine pennicot)

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Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.