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July 31st  2011    Tim Candler

    Catalogue people are at it again.  Last week I could have had five hundred dollars worth of nearly dead plants for a dollar fifty, so long as I paid the shipping and insurance.  Today I could be the proud owner of a single root for around twenty five dollars, and if I can be tempted by two of such roots shipping is free.  Nor do I know which of these catalogue companies I hate most. 

     This unnatural antagonism began some years ago, and I have nursed it happily.  I overheard a conversation between a plant salesman and his customer.  Twice he said, "If you can dig a hole, it's the right time to plant."

      My own reaction was "That's fantastic!  This place must be like Entebbe."  And it was summer, with fireflies in the evening, a suggestion of crickets, tropical depth to the air, those sorts of qualities.  Of course in more innocent days I believed 'Plant Nurseries' were run by 'Nurserymen.'  A breed of my own species I have venerated.

      But I should have guessed because a Nurseryman will say  things like, "No you can't have that until next year." And  "Go away."

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