Tag Archives: seeds

1876. Cosmos seed heads

You see those white cosmos flowers stuck in a little blue bottle? That’s the last of the cosmos in the garden. My wife planted them back in late autumn. She didn’t exactly plant them; she scattered the seed heads in a bare patch in the vegetable garden. They grew apace. Cosmos usually do. And when they began to flower they were all white. No pinks or any other shade. Just lovely white.

Wilmott had collected the seed heads when we went for a walk in the botanical gardens. That would almost be a year ago now. Usually the staff at the botanical gardens don’t leave plants in for long enough to develop into the seed stage. Perhaps they left these plants because they wanted to save the seeds. Anyway, Wilmott took just half a dozen heads. The gardeners wouldn’t know they were missing because there were hundreds of seed heads in the garden plot. That’s why we didn’t realize that the flowers would be all white. We never saw the cosmos in flower earlier on.

It’s quite illegal to take seeds or cuttings (or plants for that matter) from the botanical gardens. Imagine if everyone came along with their secateurs. The place would be denuded. I don’t know what would happen if we had been caught. Wilmott simply snapped the heads off with her fingers and quietly dropped them into the pocket of her cardigan. “We’ll find out what colour these are in the late spring,” she said.

When we got home (we usually went for a longish walk each day) Wilmott scattered the seeds in the garden, as I said earlier. She did that even before we went inside. And when we went inside she died. Suddenly. It was heart.

So you see those white cosmos flowers stuck in a little blue bottle? That’s the last of the cosmos in the garden. I could save the seed heads and begin the cycle again. Earlier I had decided I would do that, but now I think, goodness me, I can’t not move on forever.

1804. Hilarious

It was hilarious! Old Farmer Cedric was a fanatical gardener. He’d gardened for years on the same plot of land next to his house. If the truth be known, it wasn’t his land. The land belonged to the Town Council. It had been put aside for a park, but as the years went by everyone forgot it was meant to be made into a park. At least Old Farmer Cedric’s garden kept the place tidy.

No one knew exactly what he did for a living. He was out in his garden most days so the presumption was that he didn’t have a job. In fact, the presumption was that he didn’t need a job. Some people are like that. They have money coming out their ears.

Old Farmer Cedric always collected his own seeds. He would sort them into little jars. There were seeds of all sorts of vegetables and all sorts of flowers. He was so proud of his seeds. He would bring them all out on trays and place the trays on the ground as if they were a museum display. He would do that even if he was going to use just the one variety.

One year a wag – it was so hilarious – replaced some of the seeds when Old Farmer Cedric wasn’t looking. The wag took out the real seeds and replaced them with some weed seeds! Everyone waited to see what would spring up. And all he got that year was weeds. It was hysterical.

That was the year the church didn’t get any flowers at Easter and Old Farmer Cedric’s family had nothing to eat.

1801. A dollop of cream

Norbert Burtonshaw was heavily into natural food. By “natural” I mean organic and unprocessed. He liked to grow things himself and then he knew for sure what he was putting into his mouth. He grew lots of sunflowers and pumpkins. That way he could dry the seeds in the sun and spend a gloomy winter gobbling them up. If one needs to nibble between meals, what better than a sunflower or pumpkin seed or two?

His wife, whose full name was Constantia Margaret Burtonshaw, thought that Norbert’s obsession with food was ridiculous. “You’re not a canary,” she would say. “If God intended you to be a canary he would’ve given you a singing voice.” And indeed, she was right; Norbert didn’t have a musical note in his skinny body.

In the meantime, Constantia Margaret Burtonshaw would get stuck into her meal of animal fats and salt and sugar and everything under the sun that was processed and came out of a packet. Constantia called herself buxom; others called her fat.

Constantia and Norbert had drifted apart over the years, although they still lived at the same address. They never shared a meal together; their preferences were so vastly different. And then one day, Norbert dropped dead. Most people were expecting it to be the other way around.

At the post-funeral cup of coffee, Constantia Margaret Burtonshaw served a variety of little cakes imbued with all sorts of seeds that made a mess. “These little cakes are to celebrate the life of my late husband,” said Constantia. “However,” continued Constantia, “there are little bowls of whipped cream on the tables, and one can place a dollop of cream on each little cake if one isn’t a canary.”

1456. The blue rose

You’ve probably heard of the black tulip, and likewise the blue rose. These days, with genetic engineering, nearly everything is possible. That’s why Belinda wasn’t at all surprised when she came across an advertisement for “100 seeds of a blue rose”. She thought it a little strange that she should grow roses from seed. Grafting seems to be more the norm.

Using her credit card, she bought 100 seeds for $10.73. The postage was included, which was great considering the seeds would be sent all the way from China.

The first things she noticed was that lots of money had gone from her bank account. It seemed that the 100 seeds were $10.73 each.

After several weeks she received a letter from Customs. Did she know there was a fine of $50,000 for trying to import illegally foreign seeds and vegetable matter into the country?

Belinda was desperate. She couldn’t afford that. She wrote to Customs and suggested they stuff the blue rose seeds where the sun doesn’t shine and she hoped they sprouted thorns.

Her expensive, and useless, lawyer intimated she might get out on parole in a couple of months.

Poem 63: On a dahlia

[Many thanks to Uma for the beautiful photograph.  Uma is a wonderful writer (and photographer).

The form selected for this week is an adaptation of the Vietnamese Luc bat. It is an adaptation of the poetic form because Vietnamese is a tonal language and it cannot be imitated in English. The syllable count and the rhyming pattern have been adhered to!]

The dahlia opens slow
before it makes a show, bright red,
and then the full-faced head
bends down towards its bed and bows;
as if to say the hours
of fleeting life somehow are short.
Its beauty comes to naught
as petals fall uncaught and die.

Some say each flower shall leave
a cob, a pod of seeds, a cone,
from which will spring the bones
of new flowers, new fruit, grown; and yet,
lest ever I forget,
my death shall not beget new grain
to grow in hope, in pain,
in love, in loss, in gain, in joy.

1199. Garden trolley

It was Magdalena’s lucky day! She had driven to the garden shop to get some petunias. As she pulled into an empty car space she suddenly braked. A shopping trolley had been left carelessly in the parking space. Magdalena backed out and parked in another empty space.

On her way to the shop she thought she would take the trolley and put it in the trolley stand. It was such a nuisance taking up a valuable parking space.

Oh wonder of wonders! Oh rapture! That was the secret trolley. Everyone else had walked past it all day. Magdalena was the one to return it and she got a five hundred dollar shopping voucher from the garden shop. Even a photographer was there to record the event for the local paper!

“I’ve never won anything before,” said Magdalena.

Magdalena got lots of things with her voucher. She got some plants and some seeds, but also some weed killer, and some netting to stop the birds from eating her blueberries. She even got a new hoe to replace the one that had seen better days. And of course, she got a new garden hose. The hose was top of the range! This hose wasn’t going to kink like every other garden hose Magdalena had owned throughout her entire life.

When she got home Magdalena put all her wonderful treasures in the garden shed.

A few days later her little grandson went into the garden shed, drank the weed killer, and died.

(Footnote: Hi everyone – These days, generally speaking, I can use the internet only between midnight and 6 a.m. (New Zealand time). I generally go to bed at 10 p.m. and get up at 5 a.m. (used to be a dairy farmer hence the old rising habit!) However, by the time I’ve made the coffee and read the news, there’s very little time for reading your blogs. Some blogs I can sneak a peek during the day, provided they don’t have many pictures. My own blog is posted and scheduled until mid July 2018 (except for a couple of poems) so I will continue to appear as if I’m posting daily – but in fact my participation in the blogging community is going to be rather limited. So until further notice I’m going to be a pretty secret reader! I enjoy our blogging community and will be fully back as soon as I can – but my daytime internet has a daytime limit, and daytime online work-from-home has to come first. Bruce)

961. Seeds

961seeds

Leigh was into health food. She had an overabundance of tomatoes this year and decided to make and freeze some soup.

Of course, the thing she most disliked about making tomato soup was skinning the tomatoes, and removing the seeds. Seeds in tomato soup! Never! All the recipes said to take them out, and she did. What a task!

And so to make some healthy bread. Now where did she put that carton of seeds?