Friday, February 06, 2004

day lilies

I think I'll plant day lilies up there. There is a small farm in Murphy, Oregon. Was. I don't know if the old lady is still alive or not. Her name was LaVerle, I think. You could bring your own shovel and dig clumps of any kind of day lily or almost any other digable perrenial she had going. I don't know what it is about old people and color. I've thought about this some, and have concluded it must be failing eyesight that contributes to the abysmal taste of the elderly. LaVerle's house was Peptobismol pink. There was a cement pond on the property which she claims her husband built. It's deep -- more like a swimming pool, really--painted with thick turquoise pool paint. The flowers fade into the background of the circus-like atmosphere: day lilies of every color, primroses, hollyhocks, glads, you name it. The day I was there, LaVerle was looking for a single white primrose, apparently rare. LaVerle gets around in a motorized wheelchair, spades and pruning shears hanging from arm rests, seedlings and other starts filling the wire basket on the back. She navigates the property on exposed aggregate walkways, again, painted here and there as though the painter was indecisive or using up old cans of bright tempera paint. I know it wasn't tempera, but it had that chalky, primary quality to it, and you know how I exaggerate. If you don't bring your own shovel, she'll let you use one, but that way she'll know you're a newcomer and you'll be in for the tour. Luckily for me, I was with Julie, who knows her way around Murphy and had been through the tour. .

The best day lily I got was the Chicago Star. Its bright egg-yolk yellow, with a bloom as wide as a man's hand. I'm digging it up to take with me for Valentine's Day, and I'm taking Bailey with me. He can move in first, and see how it goes. It'll be me and Watson, all alone at the farm down here. That way, the dog won't have to endure the lonliness of my trips away, and he can keep Nicole company. We already have lilacs... purple and white, and rich dirt and azaleas and a huge rhody out front. Home.

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