Earl Grey!
by Crystal Trojek
by Crystal Trojek

I am an award winning floral artist in competitive design, and my seasonal displays have been featured in magazines and local businesses. I use words as my art form when it is too cold to garden in Ontario, or too wet, or too hot. I’ve written a number of articles for local newspapers, newsletters, and Master Gardener publications. I am an educator of the topics of seasonal decorating and container gardening, newly self employed. ! !

I admit that lately I have spent a lot of inventive time thinking of creative ways to get rid of my new laptop even though my son assures me I can never have the old computer back. I loathe electronics with as much passion as I write. A completely vile subject: computers and their horrible little offspring, cell phones. Fortunately for me, the overwhelming tide of my imagination in the world of gardening is a giant that subdues and conjugates the words as they stream onto the keyboard. I can take my mind to significantly better places, like spring. It is a gift to see what others do not, it is a responsibility to share it with others. !

June 15, 2014

Mr Earl Grey is my editor this morning. My audience, my close at hand friends Evelyn, A Shropshire Lad, Louise Odier, Othello, and a most beloved stranger that is a Gallica rose, rescued at dusk from an unnamed source. A horde of irises, a flock of peonies about to give birth, various annuals striving to be part of my daily photo shoot. It is the time of year that I contemplate seriously about antique roses. The rest of the year I contemplate other antiques in completely different areas courtesy of this much maligned laptop. The keyboard knows that I will curse and swear and prepares to be launched into the air as it swallows every threat but in the end it knows I will always come back. The computer knows I must return, as it has the keys to the doors and windows of opportunity and time savings. It has my logical head, but the paper copies of the books will always have my heart. God bless the proprietors of used book stores.

There seem to be a lot birds crabbing about this morning. Perhaps they do not like the shortened grass. Perhaps their seemingly raucous discontent is not that at all, just a commentary on the general state of the garden. The black birds seem a many membered clan, fluent in a number of languages, spirited, ambitious, and gifted conversationalists. Two have just jumped on the edge of the ancient stone birdbath. One is swinging from side to side, drinking as if it is mimicking one of those old beer drinking songs from the Battle of Britain. Another squawks incessantly nearby, waiting to be fed. It is ignored. Some lessons are best learned without words. Taught, but not with words.

My rose family is becoming an obsession, fueled by the nitro and propane of purpose within, injected into the present by the recent passing of both my parents.I have not cared about roses for probably ten years. My mother did, and perhaps her spirit haunts me at night and whispers just before I wake to think of them today. Perhaps it is she who guides the car into the parking lot of never lately visited areas of the garden centre. And then, the internet listings of such things as exploded from when I last digested rose catalogues. It is perhaps a blessing that I am unable to drive to the peninsula or the north side of Toronto. I must admit, that they are found in the lost unlikely places, at least the ones that are the desires of my bleeding heart. And of course, the Austins all have British names, and I am undone.

I have only been to England but one time, and I hope to go again before I die, or at least when I can still cover the amount of territory that I would like to walk over there. In the meantime, I will search for the roses personified by actual names of people and places from across the water. The words spark a sometimes faltering imagination, when the darkness falls and the words are not good and should not be considered. The roses are the hands that never let go, of anything.

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