It's not about the house.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


I don’t give a hoo about plant life. Seriously. I majored in biology and never took anything approaching botany. The closest I came was a course called Animal & Plant Physiology – which I only took because I had to – and I almost willfully flunked the “plant” half. Just. Don’t. Care.

Yes, we bought this house largely for the yard it came with, but all I wanted was to sit out on a summer night drinking beer, burning wood in the chiminea and watching the wind. I truly would not care if the grass grew up around my ears and dandelions prowled all around. I certainly didn’t want to have to work – with plants, no less.

Oh, it’s a long story how I wound up in charge of mowing the fucking lawn. Let’s leave it at stubbornness on both our parts and call it draw. Point is, I did. For the first three years. But just at the end of last summer Johnny got a mower. Not new, of course, but new to him. And he swears he’s going to mow it from now on. It needs it now, but I’ll be damned.

So fine. It hasn’t been warm enough yet for drinking beer and watching wind blow, so I haven’t been outside.

A few days ago I noticed this little – very little, as in like apple-sized – yellow-green, bushy, definitely plant-type thing out in the yard by the end of the driveway. Wasn’t something I’d seen before, wasn’t in a place even Johnny would have planted, but it seemed to have just sprung up overnight from nowhere. What was it?

I was curious enough to ask people – Johnny, his friends, the girl he gives guitar lessons to. I’d stand at the window and point “You see that yellow-green thing? No, by the – yeah, right there. Do you know what that is?” But I didn’t really care, so I couldn’t make myself remember to look when I went out, and I certainly could not be bothered to go out just to see.

But tonight, when I was pointing it out to the girl’s father, there were suddenly three more of them! Same size, shape, color, all three of them randomly spaced. Just plop, plop, plop – smack dab in the middle of the yard. Girl’s father said they were dandelions, and even though he was drunk that was finally enough to get my ass out there because I knew for sure they weren’t dandelions and I could not just let that go. (I believe I mentioned above about the stubbornness?)

As soon as I got close to it, I knew. Do you? You must care more about botany, gardening, horticulture – whatever you want to call it, and whoever you might be, you must care more about the whole business than I. So do you know what it is?

Not the best picture, I know. But I’ll give you a hint. Look at the leaves…

Oh yeah, you can’t see the leaves because I suck at this. Well, all right then, I’ll tell you:

It’s a freakin’ bud end off a branch of the maple tree right above where I found it. Wind must’ve blown the bastards down. Hauled my sober ass outside for nothing.

You see? I told you I hated plants! Oh, when is it going to be warm enough again for beer and wind-watching?


John said...

They're a little hard to see as you mentioned, but I think they are Narcissus. Fortunately for you, these require ablsolutely no work to maintain or grow.

My interest in plants isn't quite as limited as yours. I like the idea of them, but they are too much work for my tastes. Mostly I like the ones you can make salsa out of or poison. You never know when you'll need some, right?

Anyhow, I found this online (probably more than you need or want):


Any of about 40 species of bulbous, fragrant, ornamental plants that make up the genus Narcissus in the amaryllis family, native mainly to Europe. Popular spring garden flowers include the daffodil, or narcissus (N. pseudonarcissus), the jonquil (N. jonquilla), and poet's narcissus (N. poeticus). The stem usually bears one large blossom. The central crown of each yellow, white, or pink flower ranges in shape from the form of a trumpet, as in the daffodil, to a ringlike cup, as in the poet's narcissus. Rushlike or flattened leaves arise from the base of the plant. Though poisonous, the bulbs were once used in medicines."

EGE said...

Oh, you only said that because they're poisonous. Or, wait - what do you mean by "narcissus"? You're not implying... No, you wouldn't. Blogging about oneself is not a narcissistic act at all!