Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Improg word: Display

I’ve given myself a limited amount of time to write this entry, so don’t expect much. I’ve made a lot of progress on my neverending work projects in the last few days and have gotten into a groove, and I want to get back to work (yes, you read that right: want to get back to work). While there’s still a long way to go with one in particular, I now believe that, sooner or later, the damn things will be done and I can move on. This is a big improvement on my recent nightmare of sitting in front of this laptop when I’m 83 years old, still working on the same projects.

I’m happy to report that monotasking has been hugely success for all two and a half days that I’ve been doing it. I can’t believe how much I’ve gotten done. The trick now is to not forget that I’m on this monotasking kick because then I’ll start working on three projects at the same time, with 23 files and 16 browsers open at once, while answering my email, checking on blogs, and eating lunch (if I remember to eat lunch, which I don’t always do).

Anyway, I’m wasting precious time here. My improg word this week is display. Unfortunately, I have no funny stories to relate about knocking over grocery-store displays, although it would a typical thing for me to do and I often bump into them with my cart, especially when I get one whose wobbly wheels turn in one direction only. It did occur to me, though, that this word is often used in reference to gardens, so I thought—because I have absolutely nothing interesting to say about the word itself—I would post some pictures of my weed patch garden.

I think I’ve mentioned (but because of the timer ticking away on my desk, I don’t have time to find where) that I garden more by accident and procrastination than by design. Despite that, and despite the fact that Mother Nature is having a senior moment and has forgotten to give us spring weather (Is it right that my furnace is going on in June? I don’t think so), my garden is putting on a decent display, or at least the parts that have managed to rise about the weeds are.

Here is an example of gardening by procrastination. When we moved into this house several years ago, a bunch of dead-looking vines covered the arbor (I’m very excited to have a house with an arbor. I've always wanted one). I made a mental note to cut those stick-like things back, but, as usual, I remembered only when I was somewhere I couldn’t do it, like in the shower or in the interminable grocery-store line-up, or when I didn’t have time, like when I’d pulled into the driveway with exactly 18 minutes to get my kids fed before we had to pull out again. So I never got around to it. Then, when spring came, this happened:

It turned out that those apparently dead vines were a clematis. Actually, they were two clematises (clemati?): this one, which blooms in the spring, and a darker one, which blooms in the summer. Some clemati are supposed to be pruned and some aren’t and I don’t know which kind mine are, or—if they differ in this respect—which of the tangled vines belong to the pruning persuasion and which don’t. So I just leave the whole thing alone and I’m rewarded with this gorgeous display (notice that I worked the word in again) every year. What was another in a long line of put-off tasks turned out to be my favorite part of the whole yard. Here’s another picture:

Now an example of gardening by accident. I was at the garden club’s perennial sale a few weeks ago and bought several kinds of plants that I knew nothing about (and I ask you this: Why do I have a whole library of gardening books and know so little about plants?). They met all the criteria I’m trying to use this year: They were cuttings or divisions from already existing plants, they were in reused plastic pots instead of new ones, and they were being sold to benefit a nonprofit group. So I bought them and planted them and then kind of forgot about them. Two days ago I glanced out of my bedroom window and saw a flash of red near where my done-for-the-year red tulips were. What was it? Did a tulip spring miraculously back to life? No, one of my unknown plants had produced this amazing flower (just ignore the humungous dandelion leaf next to it, please—and all those other weeds that surround it):

The lupine and bleeding heart plants I bought a few years ago to see how they would take to my garden keep coming back—the lupine in all sorts of unexpected places—despite my complete neglect (gotta love perennials):

My time for blogging is up. I have no time to figure out a pithy way to wrap this all up, so I’ll do what I always tell students not to do, which is to just stop writing when they’ve run out thing of things to say. The end.


Hayley Townley, Breast Cancer Survivor Extraordinaire! said...

I wonder what I was thinking when I gave you THAT word? Weird. Anyway, you get an A+ on your report. The word was used several times, the photos to go along with it are spectacular, and you ended your piece nicely. The end.

Margerie said...

I also give you an A+ for neat handwriting and oragnization.

The End.


isabella mori said...

came here through wordless wednesday. looks like we have a lot in common, like gardening through procrastination and having 17 gazillion windows up on the computer.

now please tell me - what's an improg word? sounds very intriguing!

Susan said...

Isabella, an improg is an improvisational blog post. My friend Hayley (she's the first commentor here) came up with the idea. We sent each other an envelope full of words and every week (or so) we each pull out one word and write a blog post on it.

It's challenging and fun! Pretty soon Margerie (see above) will be joining us too, once she gets her arm untwisted.