quotidian: Fair Ellen, maiden hair, Triomphe de Farcy



Bringing geraniums out of the sunroom, the ordinary ones, the scented ones, and cutting back their winter legginess. Cutting back, snipping the ends of stems, and putting them in earth. Fair Ellen, Skeleton Rose, Prince of Orange, Pink Champagne, Old Spice, Rober’s Lemon Rose, Citronella, their names like a medieval poem, singing their way into being. Opening the door of the greenhouse, I am transported to summers past when pots of geraniums lined the stairs and those leaving and those arriving brushed against them. Lemons and roses and deep oak woods, orangeries in far lands, the small flowers in lush leaves. Fair Ellen, Grey Lady Plymouth, Rose of Bengal…

hart's tongue


Bowls of ferns by the front door, forgotten under the eaves for a week or so. When I bring them water, I see the new growth. Maiden hair in its nest of old stems, hart’s tongue scrolling to the light, spiny woodfern, green spleenwort, and below them, in a shady area, lady fern, sword ferns where tiny tree frogs perched last summer.



Open the greenhouse door! 52 tomato plants*, all named, Ancho peppers and Arbequina olives, eggplants, a bougainvillea, pots of salad greens, lilies, and look, the beans are all sprouting—the Triomphe de Farcy, Santa Annas, Hildas, and for shelling, the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

*if you live on the Sechelt Peninsula and want a couple of tomato plants, let me know?

2 thoughts on “quotidian: Fair Ellen, maiden hair, Triomphe de Farcy”

  1. I just bought two hanging baskets of geraniums, pink and red. Do this every year. Not sure if this indicates a healthy respect for tradition or a failure to imagine alternatives.

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