1906. The old shrub

That hideous shrub, that camellia you planted near our front door, is thankfully dead. You’ve no idea how pleased I was. I’ve never liked the thing as you know. It flowers white with dribbles of pink, like God had been cleaning his teeth and dribbled pink toothpaste all down the front of His white shirt. It’s always been bordering on the grotesque. And now thankfully it’s dead.

I never had the heart to chop it out. You planted it, and liked it, and when you passed away I thought it could stay there as some sort of memorial. Every year, for the past fifteen years, I thought, “That goddam thing is in flower again”. Well! It died, and without any help from me. At last I could dig it out and plant something – in your memory of course – in its place. Only yesterday I went to the plant shop and bought the most beautiful rhododendron. It’s white with a pink throat. I intend to plant it in the same spot. I shall call it “My beautiful rhodo”.

You’ve no idea the trouble I’ve gone to rid myself of that old camellia. The trash collection no longer accepts “garden waste”, so I’ve had to cut the shrub into tiny bits and hide them in black plastic trash bags. It’s amazing how much wood there is in an old camellia shrub. It’s taken four weeks of trash collections, but at last it’s gone except for the stump and roots which I intended to dig out and trash today before planting the rhododendron.

Except this morning when I went out to begin the task I saw the stump had sprouted. I’m sorry, my dear.

It’s gone.

15 thoughts on “1906. The old shrub

  1. James

    If I had any musical talent I would form a band and call it ‘God’s Pink Toothpaste’. But I don’t have any musical talent so I won’t. I feel it’s a missed opportunity though.

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    1. Bruce Post author

      There are four camellias on the property where I live. All of them are very old. The flowers bruise badly within 24 hours of coming out. The trees are simply masses of brown! No look the lovely modern camellias which have some resistance to the weather!

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      1. Noelle Granger

        Sorry to hear that. Our Camellia trees have been here for 35 years! We have pruned them back about every 8 years or so – they take a while to come back but they do, greener and healthier than ever.

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