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The bad flowers

It's Arbor Day! Gosh I love this day, except for the inevitable hangover the next morning. My only beef with Arbor Day is the intense and suffocating commercialization of it. I remember when people would just plant a tree on Arbor Day -- a simple, honest tree like an oak or a maple -- and it wasn't all about going to the garden center to shop, shop, shop. It wasn't about seeing who could buy the most trees and the biggest trees and the trendiest trees. It was still arboreal, if you see what I'm saying. It wasn't just another oppressive national holiday that ultimately brings shame to our insane consumer culture. It was still about the tree!

Like I'll be planting a perfectly decent willow oak, humming to myself, enjoying what I thought was a lovely Arbor Day, and here come the neighbors with a Japanese maple that's already 30 feet tall, has a root ball the size of a nuclear reactor, and is being lowered into the ground with a crane. It's become such a competition.

But let's forget trees for the moment and talk about something a lot more controversial: flowers. Specifically flowering shrubs. Specifically azealeas. The gardening experts have decided that azaleas are bad.

They are bad flowers.

And I'm sure they are right! Our own very excellent gardening writer Adrian Higgins says that the hardy, dependable azalea is horridly overused as a foundation plant. The pink-against-brick is a particular crime. The azalea is a cliché. It's three weeks of the same ol' flower and 49 weeks of drudgery. We can do better. We must do better. Time to start ripping out the azaleas and lancing the boils on our landscape.

But hold: Why do we like them so?

The obvious answer is that we like them because we grew up with them. Those of us from the South consider the azalea as endemic to our culture as pine trees and the sun. Ban azaleas and you might as well ban sweet tea, that viscous substance served in a Mason jar and so sweet it's like a science experiment for growing crystals.

Think of the family photos taken with the azalea background. The kids grow taller, the grown-ups grow gray, but the azalea is more or less the same, a bit thicker around the middle, bushier, but otherwise a constant, somehow capable of thriving even if ignored.

Growing up, we had giant azaleas in front of the house, so big they shaded the front porch. They were shade bushes! Amazing concept. They also did a great job of shielding the exterior of the house, which was quite old. We had azaleas instead of a paint job.

Someday that house will be gone, but I hope the azaleas survive forever. Go to the ruins of a home in the woods or in an empty field, and you'll find the old foundation and some bricks and a trash heap pit out back with various bedsprings and chicken wire. Right there next to the foundation will be an old azalea, and it'll look pretty good. In fact, for about three weeks a year it'll be lovely, doing its duty even if no one's around to look at it.

In flowers and in life, half the battle is just showing up.

By Joel Achenbach  |  April 30, 2010; 10:02 AM ET
 
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Comments

Azaleas are the semi-colons of the horticultural world.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 30, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

You know, when I visit your neck of the woods in season, I *love* the azaleas. We can only grow them indoors as potted plants, and even then they are small, anaemic and easily killed.

So, just for me, please keep them. 'Cause, you know, I might drop by one day.

Posted by: Yoki | April 30, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Didn't we already have this discussion? I love the azaleas in DC - one of the reasons it's so spectacular in spring.

I haven't been out in my yard hardly at all for the past week. Last evening I finally had time to notice all the columbine and clematis montana flowers, dutch iris and bearded irises are about to pop. My white bonsai azalea is in full flower - need to get a picture of that.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 30, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I did ask for a gardening kit. I gotta be more careful.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 30, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

The true azalea doesn't grow here either but there is something that we call azalea that does. Some hybrid rhododendron canadense X azalea mollis, the "Lights" series do fairly well with winter protection in our zone 4. They were originally produced by the U. of Minnesota for use in MN. We got two that have survived the winter this year, once again. I think they have been around for 4 years now.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 30, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I love it when wanton gardening comments are on Kit.

Pics of "Lights"

http://www.mtshadow.com/pdbm/plant/?plantid=10118

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | April 30, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and I mean no disrespect to the Kit! I'm always pleased when Joel writes about gardening and flowers and nature. The Virginia bluebells in my yard are almost past their flowering prime. When they first came out, I was reminded of Joel's Kit last year about them. I really caught the gardening passion when I lived in DC. Dumbarton Oaks, the Maryland and Virginia countryside which greened up weeks before Pennsylvania did. I can still smell the irises that grew wild along the roadside in VA, on my way home from work late at night.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 30, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I have a pecan tree in a pot I ought to plant today. My other three are 40' and 10 years old. My dogwoods are finally old enough to have given me great flowers this year. That is, the ones left. The following on-kit article is relevant:
http://jumpersbloghouse.blogspot.com/2007/04/saving-trees-with-near-fatal-damage.html

Posted by: Jumper1 | April 30, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Prince Adrian: What manner of shrub, an it like your majesty?

Joel: A goodly portly shrub, i'faith, and corpulent; of a cheerful look, pleasing to the eye, and a most noble foliage;; and now I do remember me, its name is Azalea: if that plant should be lewdly given, it deceiveth me; for, Adrian, I see virtue in its blooms. If then the fruit may be known by the tree, as the tree by the fruit, then peremptorily I speak it, there is virtue in that Azalea: it keep with, the rest banish. And tell me now, thou naughty varlet, tell me, where hast thou been this month?

Prince Adrian: Dost thou speak like a king? Do thou stand for that bush?

Joel: Depose it? if thou dost it half so gravely, so majestically, both in word and matter, hang it up by the roots for a rabbit-sucker, or a poulterer's hare.

Prince Adrian: Well, here I am set.

Joel: And here I stand: judge, my gardeners. And role play: we shall portray each other, good my lord.

Prince Adrian: Now, Adrian, whence come you?

Joel: My noble lord, from Home Depot’s Garden Center.

Prince Adrian: The complaints I hear of this flow’r are grievous.

Joel: S'blood, my lord, they are false, i'faith.

Prince Adrian: Swearest thou, ungracious blogger? henceforth ne'er look on me. Thou art violently carried away from grace: there is an Azalea flower haunts thee, in the likeness of a pink cherry blossom false; a tun of mulch is thy companion. Why dost thou converse with that trunk of humus, that bolting-hutch of beastliness, that swollen parcel of posies, that huge bombard of Plzant-Gro, that stuft cloak-bag of manure, that revered plant, that pinkish iniquity, that vanity in vegetation? wherein is it good, wherein cunning, but in craft? wherein crafty, but in villainy? wherein villainous, but in all things? wherein worthy, but in nothing?

Joel: I would, your grace would take me with you: whom means your grace?

Prince Adrian: That villainous, abominable Azalea, that old white-bearded Satan.

Joel: My lord, the plant I know.

Prince Adrian: I know thou dost.

Joel: But to say, I know more harm in it than in myself, were to say more than I know. That the Azalea is old (the more the pity) his pink buds do witness it: but that it is (saving your reverence) a cliche, that I utterly deny. If sack and sugar be a fault, God help the wicked! if to be old and merry be a sin, then many an old bush that I know is damned: if to be common is be to be hated, then Pharaoh's lean kine are to be loved. No, my good lord; banish Roses, banish Hostas, banish Poinsettas; but for sweet Azalea, kind Azalea, true Azalea, valiant Azalea, and therefore more valiant, being as it is, old Azalea, banish not it thy Adrian’s company; banish plump Azalea, and banish all the world.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 30, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

*clap clap clap*

Posted by: Yoki | April 30, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Ha! Very good, dear Mudge.

Posted by: seasea1 | April 30, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The mid-Atlantic seems to have a wide variety of hybrid azaleas and rhododendrons, at least in affluent neighborhoods where gardening is competitive. In Florida, just a few varieties dominate, and the most popular ones indeed get big enough to be "shade bushes." My neighbor in Jacksonville had red azaleas maybe 20 feet high. Mine were pruned back to a mere 6 feet.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 30, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I can see Aidrien Higgen's point. It has to do with biodiversity and a reduced aesthetic. In a way, it is similar to those who protest that the proliferation of processed 'merican cheese has deprived our palates of the many, many other exotic varieties of dairy-based foodstuffs.

And Joel's response, of course, is a good one. Sometimes aesthetics have a lot more to do with childhood memories and comfort than anything else.

For example, I like Rhododendrons because I was raised in a state where they were the state flower. (of course, Washington also has chosen "petrified wood" as the state gem, and yet I strongly suspect that presenting a beau with a chunk of that all polished up pretty in a shiny gold setting really isn't going to score you many points. But I digress.)

My dad used to raise Rhodies, and for a brief period I had a summer job where my professional duties involved caring for dozens of them in the public parks. For years afterward I would compulsively remove the dead flowers, as per proper procedures, whenever I encountered them.

But I'm better now.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 30, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I would take too many azaleas as opposed to the over abundance of hostas we have here. I have two Rhodos, one blue that appears like it might flower this year and a larger red one.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 30, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Artistic choices lurking in Hubble images:
http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2010/04/artistic-choices-hubble-images.php

At least there's no suggestion that Hubble images look like azalea gardens.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 30, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Well done Mudge! We have azaleas here but I don't think I've ever seen one grow big enough to shade a house. I've already mentioned my love/hate relationship with my orange flowered azalea (just not fond of orange), but also have a lilac colored one and some pink ones. They all seem to bloom at different times, being different varieties. Three have gone by already and three or four, including the orange one, have yet to bloom.

I prefer lilacs because of their scent, but anything that adds color in the spring is fine with me. Right now the ground phlox is pretty, the lilacs are almost ready, various flowering trees are blooming. Actually, my little neighborhood is full of beautiful blooming things right now.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 30, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

In California we always had azaleas and they bloom several times a year. I think of them as plants that often have flowers, which is my they are among my mom's favorites and have become mine.

I wonder what flavor of azalea is in the east that it only blooms once.

Posted by: k_auman | April 30, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Oops I misspelled the name. It should, of course, be Adrian Higgins. A thousand pardons.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | April 30, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Discriminating taste in horticulture is a sign of both environmental and aesthetic enlightenment and has been so for ages-


ARTHUR: O, Knights of Nee, we have brought you your shrubbery. May we
go now?
HEAD KNIGHT: It is a good shrubbery. I like the laurels particularly.
But there is one small problem.
ARTHUR: What is that?
HEAD KNIGHT: We are now... no longer the Knights Who Say Nee.
RANDOM: Nee!
HEAD KNIGHT: Shh shh. We are now the Knights Who Say Ecky-ecky-ecky-
ecky-pikang-zoom-boing-mumble-mumble.
RANDOM: Nee!
HEAD KNIGHT: Therefore, we must give you a test.
ARTHUR: What is this test, O Knights of-- Knights Who 'Til Recently
Said Nee?
HEAD KNIGHT: Firstly, you must find... another shrubbery!
[dramatic chord]
ARTHUR: Not another shrubbery!
HEAD KNIGHT: Then, when you have found the shrubbery, you must place
it here beside this shrubbery, only slightly higher so you get a
two-level effect with a little path running down the middle.

Posted by: kguy1 | April 30, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Get thee to a shrubbery.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 30, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Cheers and huzzahs to thee, kindly Curmudgeon. Thou speaketh fair.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 30, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The last two grafs of that story on world mortality rates:

"Australia made great gains, with its men rising to No. 6 from 44th and its women to eighth from 36th in the global ranking of countries with the lowest adult mortality rates. On the other hand, Greek men slipped to 22nd this year from first in 1970 in the rankings. Greek women fell one position, to fourth, over that period. Greece has the highest per capita consumption of cigarettes in the world, which Murray said is probably part of the reason for the worsening mortality rate of Greek men.

"Sweden's vital statistics records go back longer than nearly any country in the world's [sic; that's what it says]. The [British journal] Lancet authors calculated that the countries of southern Africa today have higher adult mortality for both sexes than existed in Sweden in 1751."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/30/AR2010043000801.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 30, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Azaleas are not a childhood memory for me, but I love them nonetheless. I grew up in a place where daffodils didn't bloom until April and lilacs in late May. So when I first came to Virginia and saw the spring show of dogwoods, redbuds, and azaleas, I was besotted. And when I got a yard of my own in a climate that would welcome them, I planted a small hillside with them. They've grown into each other, making one huge azalea mound and I adore them. Mr. Higgins is correct to harsh on those who clip them into little squares or spheres, though. But they don't annoy me as much as boxwoods. Horrible plants with no flowers to justify all the care and pruning they need. And don't get me started about builders who plant clumps of white pines.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 30, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Back to the drawing board: NASA launch of down-under balloon fails. (Includes a video of the crash.)

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/04/nasa-balloon-crashes-on-take-off-in-australia-destroying-telescope/1

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 30, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

If you followed me on Twitter -- and why wouldn't you?! -- you would already know the big gardening news at my house: the pineapple plant that we have been tending for several years has finally produced a baby pineapple. It's so cute...

Posted by: kbertocci | April 30, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The University of Delaware's Douglas Tallamy makes a powerful case for natives in the garden. He has lots of pictures of big houses surrounded by lots of grass and bad non-native landscaping. Plant natives and you get insects, which feed birds. http://bringingnaturehome.net/

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | April 30, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm so confused. I thought dandelions were the bad flower.

Big festival tommorow, the rittenhouse row spring festival. Restaurant booths, sample cocktails and wine, live bands. A crowd of 55k is expected, come make it 55k1. I may be there with my cousin, but we may be hiking the malls instead depending on her inclinations.

Going to the gym. Most days it's not a problem but some days I need to announce it before I can actually do it. You're going to check up, right? :)

Posted by: -dbG- | April 30, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I want to plant a Sassafrass tree which is native, but now uncommon in our area. We had several in the neighbourhood when we were young and collecting those leaves was a sure bet to a good grade on the school project. I have noticed a few nurseries now beginning to stock the trees, I just have to find a place for them.

Posted by: dmd3 | April 30, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I liked your Shachenbach (ahem), though I think he's probably going to Johnson's, not Home Despot.

Saw the video of that NASA balloon accident Down Under and the article about artistic decisons regarding Hubble imagery last night, made for good bedtime stories for me. Interesting - and somehwat philisophical - text regarding artistic representation of Hubble images in Joel's "Captured by Aliens," chapter 11, too.

I like azeleas. For many of us, azeleas speak of home.

bc

bc

Posted by: -bc- | April 30, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey, dbG, if you do go to the Rittenhouse Row thing, could you do me a favor and check out what's going on at the Latham Hotel (on the square at 17th)? It used to have an in-house restaurant called "Bogart's" that has considerable personal nostalgia for me. I assume it is gone now, and re-named/reborn as something else.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 30, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

I used to live on a farm where we grew grass.

Posted by: russianthistle | April 30, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Awww, kbert -- don't eat it. Keep it as a pet!

I really, really, you know -- *really* hope the pollen dies down soon. This is simply mizable!

*groan* *croak*

Other than that, I must admit that I do like azaleas. There's a little park on Reno Road in the District that has, by now, enormous azalea bushes -- and in such a cacophony of color that one can almost hear it! Gorgeous.

*sending good nail-healing karma to bc with a sympathetic "ouch" to go along with it*

Now, where's Vintage Lady?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 30, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

*applause from the 16th floor for 'Mudge's Azalea IV* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 30, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

How cool kbert, I was just cutting up a pineapple I bought today and wondering if they grow in Costa Rica. Nice that you have one!

Never heard of a Sassafras tree dmd, but just looked it up and it sounds very interesting. I'd like to grow a tulip tree, we had one at the summer house on the cape, it was quite large and the flowers generated a lot of passer-by comments. I don't think we have room for one tho'.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 30, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm lazy and like to be green. We let grow what wants to grow in our yard. Our "grass" is mostly moss or crabgrass, but our free-range style lawn is beautiful (to us) right now.

Our mossy lawn is overflowing with small yellow buttercup and small blue/purple violets (I think). All the flowers are along the ground and maybe 1/2 inch diameter. We have dandelions, of course, but our yard is awash in white, yellow and purple.

We let most of the yard grown wild, and we get all types of wild weeds and wild flowers on the embankments heading toward the pond (man-made by a previous owner). We have 3 patches of blackberries. We also have lots of poison oak and poison ivy.

We have planted grapes (4th year... no fruit yet) and blueberries (this year looks like a bumper crop).

As you can imagine, we have no problem with bees and wasps and the like.... except for the missus being allergic to their stings. We get birds. We have groundhogs. We have frogs, toads, hawks. The pond is a mallard magnet. The neighboring wetlands/swamp attracts bats.

Life is good.

Posted by: steveboyington | April 30, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

bad, the sassafras tree is indeed interesting, IOnce upon a time the dried roots were a major component of root beer, and one could even order a sassafras soda at drug astore soda fountains; it may also have been used to make birch beer. Also, the ground up root was a component in the N'awlins spice called "file" (fee-lay) used in gumbo.

It was finally banned because it was possibly (or definitely) carcinogenic, and also because it was a component of the drug Ecstasy.

Back in my boatbuilding days, the guy who owned the company I worked for used to make his own sassafras extract, which wehen mixed with club soda made an excellent, birch-beer-like drink (non-hallucinogenic, I hasten to add).

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 30, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

My goodness Mudge, what a useful tree. Maybe dmd will grow one and make all of us some 'sorta' birch beer.

Posted by: badsneakers | April 30, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Thought I remembered it was no more, mudge.

http://www.lathamhotel.com/dining/index.aspx

what about Nino's Pizza? Good as ever, got takeout y'day.

Posted by: -dbG- | April 30, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Taking a late lunch break to boodle can be mind-boodling.

> bc, bet JA's at Johnson's myself. I should have bought stock (ha!) there in my DCdays, such a frequent visitor was I.
> ftb, that azalea triangle on Reno Road! One of the many reasons I took that route into the city. Thanks for that memory.
> dmd3, plant that sassafras! They are a joy and their roots (not that you would plunder your baby) are an excellent source for the most beautiful creamy-orange/brown natural dye on earth. Or tea, anyone?

And may I throw in a plea for acuba (aucuba thunb)? A spotted evergreen shrub of my youth and adult gardening and found near foundations throughout the deep South.
Origin: Asia, southeast Himalaya to Japan.

I grew up with the little thermometers. Their leaves will curl just as azaleas and rhodys when temps drop . . . . just look out the window to know when to wear an extra pair of socks.

I love them for their large, glossy and spotted leaves and their berries. Acuba also roots easily indoors in a mason jar on a sunny windowsill, brightening a snowy scape outside.

Love song over . . . carry on.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 30, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Around here the sassafras tree is considered a weed tree like the so-called red cedar (actually a juniper). Some years ago, bundles of the dried sassafras roots were sold in local stores for sassafras "tea". I was offered a cup of the tea once. I didn't like the tsste and discretely poured it out. I do, however, like the tree. It's leaves are colorful in the fall and the birds like the small black berries it produces in the fall.

Posted by: Manon1 | April 30, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Sassafras roots smells really good. Kinda like licorice. In fact, when gathering it, that's how you tell what it is, by the smell.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 30, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Also, sassafras is sometimes confused or conflated with a similar root product, called sarsaparilla (often called "sassparilla") -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarsaparilla -- which is also used to make root beer.

Sarsaparilla was used to treat syphyllis way back when, and has actually beern found to work pretty well at it, oddly enough. It is also a good anti-oxidant.

In some old Westerns, one sometimes sees a guy walk into the saloon and order a sasparilla (and of course everybody laughs at him for being a sissy).

According to wiki, here's some of what goes into "root beer":

Main ingredients
Sassafras albidum - Sassafras (roots) - note that the flavor comes from the oil within this ingredient, which is believed to be carcinogenic - artificial versions are generally used instead
Smilax regelii - "Sarsaparilla"
Smilax glyciphylla - "Sweet Sarsaparilla"
Piper auritum - "Root Beer Plant" or "Hoja Santa"
Glycyrrhiza glabra - Licorice root
Aralia nudicaulis - Wild Sarsaparilla or "Rabbit Root"
Gaultheria procumbens - Wintergreen (leafs and berries) - note that the oil can be toxic
Betula lenta - "Sweet Birch" (sap/syrup/resin)
Betula nigra - "Black Birch" (sap/syrup/resin)
Prunus serotina - "Black Cherry"
Picea rubens - "Red Spruce"
Picea mariana - "Black Spruce"
Picea sitchensis - "Sitka Spruce"
Arctium lappa - "Burdock" (root)
Taraxacum officinale - Dandelion

Foam/froth components:
Quillaja saponaria - "Soapbark"
Manihot esculenta - "Manioc" or Yucca root

Other Spices
Pimenta dioica - Allspice
Vanilla planifolia - Vanilla
Trigonella foenum-graecum - Fenugreek
Myroxylon balsamum - "Tolu Balsam"
Abies balsamea - "Balsam Fir"
Hordeum vulgare - Barley (Malted)
Myristica fragrans - Nutmeg
Juniperus communis - Juniper (fruit or "berry")
Cinnamomum zeylanicum - Cinnamon (bark)
Cinnamomum aromaticum - "Cassia" (bark)
Syzygium aromaticum - Clove
Foeniculum vulgare - Fennel (seed)
Zingiber officinale - Ginger (root)
Illicium verum - Star Anise
Pimpinella anisum - Anise
Humulus lupulus - Hops
Mentha species - Mint
Hypericum perforatum - St. John's Wort
Cane Sugar
Molasses
Honey

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 30, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

*trying very muchly to not stare at the clock for the next hour or so* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 30, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

want some farm-raised grass Scotty?

Posted by: russianthistle | April 30, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

And this here's is some really good stuff, if you ever run across it: http://www.daretogodutch.com/homepage.html

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 30, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Me, too, scotty. Me too.

We're going out to the Montpelier Wine Festival on Sunday.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | April 30, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

You and me both, Scotty. It's been a week of Mondays and I don't have any brainpower left.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 30, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

You and me both Scotty. No brainpower left for much of anything. Have you had a week of Mondays?

Posted by: Raysmom | April 30, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

That first one said it didn't post.

Have fun, Mudge. I hear there are going to be 24 wineries there this year.

Posted by: Raysmom | April 30, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I've got plenty of cud, thanks Weed.

I've had a month of Mondays, Raysmom, with more on the way. *shrug* Par for the course.

*checking directions to the wine festival* Supposed to be a real scorcher Sunday, 'Mudge, be careful.

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 30, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Good news!

It's a great time killer

Posted by: russianthistle | April 30, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Gleeks,
I am headed up to NYC tomorrow to see the revival of Burt Bacharach's 'Promises, Promises' starring elfin squeaker Kristin Chenoweth who was the guest star on Glee this week. That episode even featured two songs from 'Promises, Promises'. What an amazing coincidence. Imagine the odds of that happening.

Posted by: yellojkt | April 30, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Allasudden I have dueling tune cooties...

Johnny Mathis and "Wonderful, Wonderful"

Naked Eyes "Promises, Promises"

Ow.

Posted by: Scottynuke | April 30, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I spent all night exploring how Shakespeare's ruff is throughly riffed in /Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead/.

Then I drive by here after over 36 hours to find... yet another Shakespearean game of Twist going on.

I'faith! Who needs the Theatre of the Absurd when we have the Boodle of the Absurd?

All hair Sil Mudge.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | April 30, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Ohhhh, yello -- Kristin Chenoweth may have a squeaky speaking voice, but, boy, can she belt out an operatic aria! Holy smokes!

Enjoy the show and do report to the frenvious Boodlers, eh?

Posted by: -ftb- | April 30, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey everybody. We made it up the mountain. One reason to be talking to the nursery guy is that he only does native perennials that he grows outside. He send a minion, who took measurements and we have a plan to look forward to. Lotsa native rhodies on the bank, we've worked to keep them healthy, but look forward to other things as well.

bc, I hope the finger heals quickly. Yeouch, indeed!

The only azalea in the high country is the native flame azalea, which is bright orange and beautiful. There aren't many around.

We have spring all over again here. The trees are just starting to put on leaves,the phlox is at its peak, the other flowers are growing well. It was 60 in the house, so we opened all the windows, and now it's up to 66.

Posted by: slyness | April 30, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

The boss is restless -- New Kit!

Posted by: -ftb- | April 30, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Y'all take care out there "amongst them English".

Sassafras and sarsparilla are just lovely words to roll around in your mouth when speaking aloud. We here type-out-our-thoughts, but I hear your voices and imagine each of you as individuals who enhance my life every day. Thanks, and sage [typo, but not sic] journeys to all boodlers.

Travel well.

Posted by: talitha1 | April 30, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

When I was a wee bairn, my grandmother used to make her own root beer. I think she stopped when sassafras root was banned. She let it ferment slightly, and either because some of the sugar was converted to alcohol, or because my grandfather's diabetes kept her from using much sugar, it was not very sweet. She used to give me a small glass of it when I was sick (grandma got the day care duties) and I always associated it with medicine. I couldn't stand the stuff, or even the taste of commercial root beer for many years.

Posted by: rashomon | April 30, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Good one, Joel.

Posted by: Windy3 | May 1, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Good one, Joel.

Posted by: Windy3 | May 1, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

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