samedi 26 juillet 2008

David, this is dead-heading

The Anthemis with no dead flower heads
or, "dead-headed"

That's because I cut them all off with my scissors.

You do it for two reasons. The first is that the plant looks a lot better (maybe you noticed the same plants at the top of the stairs, full of dead flower heads when you were here), and the second is that the plant needs to produce flowers to reproduce, but it can't when it is covered with dead flower heads. So, you cut them off, and the plant is released to produce a new profusion.

Which, you will soon be spending a morning cutting off.

When the plant is in a planting bed, it's an easy affair. You just cut. Sometimes you cut in three tiers: lowest at the front, higher towards the middle and you cut the least at the rear to get a stepped effect for maximum massing effect, but in the case of a shaped plant in a pot, you have to cut uniformly to maintain its shape. It is a zen activity requiring patience only.

The same applies to roses and any plant with repeat flowering.


Yesterday morning, I treated myself to a grace matinée, meaning that I got up, dead-headed some plants and went back to bed with Mansfield Park with the full intention to read and the total inability to keep my eyes open. There were a lot of late nights in this last week. In July, period.

Getting up to take a shower and head to the bank to release the first payments to the contractor, I hear a voices. Sam. But Sam doesn't talk to himself.


"Sam, is there someone there?" I knew the answer. "What's he doing?"

"Sitting at the dining table, reading." I got in the shower, and when I got out I heard,



"Ca va?"


"Vous avez une drôle de voix."

"C'est ma je-viens-de-sortir-de-la-douche voix." What did he think? I am not used to having people walk into my house when I am about to take a shower and ask what I am doing.

His turn to think, "Oh."

I took my time getting dressed before we walked through the recently used and still slightly damp bathroom to discuss the extent of its future renovations, which we have done twice before. Each time in more detail. His ideas are pretty banal, but luckily I have my own.

Renovations, like politics, makes odd bedfellows, in a manner of speaking.

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