This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose, in our backyards, playgrounds and parks! Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.
On Thursday, I wrote an Op-Ed about the sad lack of trees (and sidewalk cafes) in Baltimore County for The Baltimore Sun. Then I took a piece of my own advice and planted bulbs in my own garden. As my grandfather used to say, “As goes your own patch, so goes the world, right?”
I planted hyacinth bulbs and jonquils (that’s what my mother calls daffodils. Another one of her British-isms? She does take tea-time seriously. I know this because, while she’s away on Semester at Sea for four months I am instructed to take care of her collection of teas.)
It’s bulb-planting season. Known to the deer, groundhogs, and rabbits by a different name: There Is Such A Thing As A Free Lunch! They sit in a woodland-hush semi-circle around me with my trowel and good intentions toward county beautification like I’m Snow White, meanwhile they’re thinking “Wow. Doggone. She sure is a chump,” and licking their lips.
Nevertheless, I persevere. Here is video of a deer eating a bird — a thing that is truly alarming. I would rather the deer eat my bulbs any old day, to keep the order of the universe intact. I can never look at the creatures the same way again without thinking, flick the switch, and they could turn carnivore even with those delicate elegant Russian corps de ballet dancer ankles, and then wouldn’t taking the backroads to Wegmans be a real adventure.
It’s no secret I want my place to look like Ladew Gardens. My husband refers to my flower catalogs as “porn for the middle aged.” This summer I was reading all about the Dutch tulip trade and saying things like, “Let’s go to the lavender fields in the South of France for a vacation, honey, to smell different varietals of lavender” and he said, “Gee, hon. I can think of a million things that would be fun-er than that.” This is the real difference between us: I find flowers and flower planting romantic and engaging, and he finds it a chore.
Like cat people and dog people, the people who fold toilet paper over, and those who fold it under, tomato, tomahto, there are gardeners, and the people who love them.