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So How Does Your Garden Grow -

Now That You Ask
by Eleanor Tylbor
by Eleanor Tylbor


Eleanor Tylbor has been a freelance writer and columnist for more than twenty years. A resident of Laval, Quebec, Canada, she began her career as a columnist writing for weekly papers and continues to freelance a column covering local news for “The Chomedy News.”

She has also freelanced articles for Internet sites in addition to providing human-interest pieces for various dailies, and is a monthly contributor to the site, sharing her humorous observations and gardening-angst with gardening aficionados.

She is now into balcony gardening.

Blog The (Somewhat) Complete Gardener

June 18, 2006

Every Spring as has been my habit since moving in to our house, I conduct what I call "the walk-a-bout" to see if there have been any deaths of the chlorophyll kind. It's not a job that I relish since a death in the garden is like a personal loss having planted, coddled and fed the various species in the hope that they will flourish.

The bed of iris's, a specie that is almost impossible to kill and the main reason for its inclusion among my floral choices, haven't let me down. I anticipate yet another stunning bouquet of wine-colored blossoms, which I will share with my neighbors. The only draw-back if one can call it that is the ants who hide deep in the flower's interior and suddenly scatter like...ants when the stalks are placed in a vase of water. Nothing quite as attractive as ants crawling accross a beautifully set table when guests sit down to eat. On one occasion a few were spotted doing the dead man's float on a glass of white wine. Not a nice scene.

The honeysuckle shrubs cut down to 12" last month are at last growing some leaves and there are some pink flowers on a few. The neighbor who we call Mrs. Poopsy, owner of Poopsy the dog, continues to praise our decision for a radical cut in the hope that we'll keep them short. As she tells us at every opportunity, Poopsy has problems smelling (and presumably pooping) on rambling 6 feet high shrubs with long branches that can scratch Poopsy's bum.

This year there are signs that the one remaining rose bush is on its way to nature's equalizer known as the composter. The reality is that it should have been removed years ago but remains since there is always one stalk that is green at the base, although this year there is more brown than green. Green is the symbol of hope for we gardeners.

There was particular bad and sad loss in the rock garden. Our pride and joy, the yew shrubs are half dead. Of course a more positive way to look at it would be that they are half alive but I digress. The entire lower part of the shrubs is ghastly shade of grey and something will have to be done. More than likely the dead parts will be cut away with the end result looking like small trees growing in a rock garden. Let it not be said (or written) that we're not different.

On the shady side of the house Argy our gardener, over-raked again. This is an on-going spat with Argy assuming that dormant perennials are weeds or dead plants. This year's victim is the dianthus that have thrived in the bed for ten years. In spite of his denials of "You tell me don't rake - I no rake!" - he's a known plant murderer and in denial.

Today since the rain finally stopped and the sun is out, I'm going to finish the walk-a-bout. We'll see how the back garden bed made out. It's better I get there before Argy spots bare stems.

(Eleanor Tylbor is a freelance columnist and humor writer who works hard at being a gardener. She welcomes comments and gardening-related commiserations at

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