Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Today: The Bulb Mart

That's right.  Today is the first of a three-day extravaganza, the Garden Club of Houston's 68th Annual Bulb and Plant Mart.  I go every year, in spite of myself.  I made myself a list.  Not a list of bulbs I need to buy, but bulbs I absolutely cannot come home with.

I can't buy any amaryllis.  I think I have approximately 150 plants, not counting little daughter bulbs that are ready to be divided.  I have plants that are descended from my great-grandmother's garden.  In my family, you take amaryllis with you whenever you move.  So I don't need any more.  None.  Not even Papillo, a single lime-green one with mahogany veining.  Not Wonderland, a blush-pink with white.  Or even Ice Queen, a double-white with a green eye.  No, I don't need any more amaryllis.

I can't buy any Louisiana irises.  The ones I have were beautiful this year (I attribute it to the cold winter).  They are rowdy though:  mine insist they would rather escape the flowerbed and grow in the lawn.  And every single plant in my back yard seems to have sword-shaped leaves.  So, no Louisiana irises.  Not Andy Dandy, which has orange-red selfs (selves?) with yellow signals.  Not Cherry Twist, a cerise-red with petals that have a lemon reverse.  Not even Eastman Winds, a fuchsia-pink with red veining and a yellow reverse.  Even though I don't have anything at all like those colors.  No, I don't need any more Louisiana irises.

I can't buy any leucojum, or summer snowflake.  Even though these are some of the easiest little bulbs to grow here.  They are all over the place, because I've planted them and forgotten where.  They faithfully come up each year, but sadly, there's no room for them.  So no leucojum this year!

I'd love a crinum 'Queen Emma.' I don't have that one and the Queen has lovely burgundy foliage.  But I don't need any more crinum and I don't think they are offering that one anyway.  So no crinum either!

I don't need a single thing this year!  But I must go now.  Have to transfer funds to my checking account before the Mart opens at 9:30 am!  I'll let you know what I bring home -- hope I have enough money!


  1. Elizabeth, this may be the first year since I've been going that I haven't bought Louisiana Irises. I have so many and yet when I see the pictures, it's so hard to resist! Only the incredibly long line to get out stopped me.

  2. Next year, I'm going with you! And without a wagon!