Monday, October 20, 2008

Better Homes and Vicious Gardens

I'm sure you all will be relieved to hear that I did, indeed, contract with David, the world's most beautiful tree guy, to come whack down the tree in our backyard. He's coming November 11, I just hope that leaves enough time for his layout in The Men of Chez Peenee 2009 calendar, on sale soon at an airport bookstore near you.

When we bought this house, the yard was covered in an impenetrable thicket of Scotch Broom which I proceeded to pull out, stick by goddam stick and that, in turn, left me with a big space as bare as Sarah Palin's intellect. Since I am no fan of turf lawns I filled up the whole thing with shrubs and flowers, their lush survival is much more a testimony to San Francisco's benevolent climate than my skill as a gardner. My design plan consisted of sticking the plants wherever I could dig a hole big enough without hitting a rock. All that means the place looks pretty, in a aimless slacker sort of way, but gaining access to the tree I want cut down is tough.

I decided to clear a path by chopping down several spindly buddleia which have been so shaded out by the now-doomed bigger tree they weren't doing anything anyway. I'm pretty sure they'll come back from the roots; I hope so, their blooms are an unusual and beautiful dark plum color.

In the midst of my Christina-bring-me-the-ax spree I heedlessly reached up and yanked on a branch to see if I could just break it off rather than bothering with sawing it. Sure enough, it broke and smacked me quite hard on the head. People in my office today have been quite struck by the resultant scratches and bumps; I look like I lost a serious fight.

That's why when I see commercials of people lolling about in the garden, enjoying the dainty horticultural pleasures, I always sneer. I know the dark truth: gardens fight back


  1. I'm sorry... I just glanced cursorily at your post, and only noticed David, and the words "whack" and "coming."

    How DOES your garden grow??

  2. Good luck with David whacking your tree! ;)

  3. I can't tell you how much I hate a spindly buddleia too.
    Thank god Tree boy there looks like he has a nice robust one.

  4. I was going to make a comment about gardening in Northern California, but now I can't get Jason's spindly buddleia out of my mind!

  5. I just want to know if you all are setting up bleachers and selling popcorn so we can all watch David "wack off" the tree. Now that would be a sight for sore eyes my friends! If there are to be no bleachers MrPeenee, then there had best be pictures! Particularly close-ups of David the tree slayer!

  6. My urban hi-rise scenario leaves me lacking a tree of my very own.

    I'm wondering, though, if David, 'the whacker,' would be interested in dusting my fake ficus while sporting a thong? I'd split the airfare. Just saying.


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