The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Everyone all over the world knows that we have a new president who, among other targets, has a running battle with just about all the news sources in our society.  This is not the forum to discuss our personal attitudes toward this new president, but it is obvious, from all the ‘tweets’ he posts, that he believes, or at least says he believes, that ALL the news is fake and that ALL the news presenters are ‘enemies of the people.”

Well, the following statement is by Thomas Jefferson, yes, that president, and what he wrote in 1787 is very, very, very true today:

“The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers & be capable of reading them.”

Thank you, Mr. Jefferson.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


In this part of the world, we are very fortunate to have four seasons.  The interesting thing is when we can experience all four within the same week.  Our weather reports look like a roller-coaster:  one day it is cloudy and chilly, a stiff breeze makes feel even colder and we are all wearing sweaters or coats; the next day the sun is out, the temp will be about 70 degrees, and everything, including us and the plants, is dazed.

Yesterday we raked leaves and wore long-sleeved shirts and started out wearing light jackets too.  Today we raked leaves in short sleeves and my mate needed a sweat band, and we both had on sunglasses and hats against the sun’s rays.

Of course it isn’t spring yet, and we are mindful that there could still be a ‘polar vortex’ from Canada bringing a sleet storm or even late-season snow.  Yet we are going to prune our one rose, Martha Gonzalez, a wonderful species rose with single petals, no fragrance, and the tendency to bloom all the time.  The one peony that I have found that tolerates the heat here, so far, Krinkle White, is showing its emerging buds, once I cut back last year’s dead foliage.  And everywhere, jonquils and daffodils and hyacinths and Spanish bluebells and daylilies are sending up leaves.  One early jonquil, Minor Monarque, is blooming away, as is our white species iris.  An irrepressible trailing white lantana has had the audacity to send up white blooms through the leaves that we left to insulate during the very hard freezes we had this winter.  And did I mention our flowering quince?

Sometimes I ask myself, as every gardener probably does from time to time, why we go to all the bother, the planting, tending, watering, trimming, mulching, protecting.  But I am always answered, as probably every gardener is, when I walk around and see the relentless determination and courage of plant life.  We humans share not only the earth with plant life, but also some of the same tendencies and challenges.

In this country, as well as in the rest of the world, we are being tested by erratic climate changes and those who deny them.  We are also being tested as a nation, and as citizens of the world, by troubling political behaviors.  And just as the gardener must find remedies for problems in the garden, the citizens must find remedies for problems that must be resolved.  With plants, as with each other, kindness and caring and persistence help so very much.

Friday, February 3, 2017


This is a guest post from a friend of mine, Luke Adams, and is so well-written I wanted to share it out to those who might appreciate it as I have:

"I am tired of Trump's followers acting as if my opposition to their leader is simply based on either a hatred of Donald Trump, political sour grapes, or my being upset that "my team lost". It is not about hating a man named Donald Trump. It is not about him being on the opposing political "team". Politics is not a game. Politics is the means by which we determine the course of our nation and of the world. 

My opposition to Donald Trump is based on the fact that on moral, philosophical, and intellectual grounds I oppose practically everything that Donald Trump claims to support and is attempting to enact into law. Although his actions and statements are deplorable to me, I personally view him, much like Nixon, as a tragic figure, one who is consumed by narcissism, fear, bigotry, and a nagging need to be adored and worshiped, and hatred of anyone who does not fulfill that need. He is a man who let his ego drive him to pursue a job that he was not qualified for, and is now troubled by the realization that that decision will probably destroy the reputation of the Trump brand that has always been the most important thing in his life.

I do not want Donald Trump harmed. I simply want him to return to selling Trump steaks, Trump vodka, and gaudy hotel rooms. I want him to go back to his TV show, his fake University, and his get rich quick seminars. I want this carnival barker to go back to his life of trying to separate gullible people from their money. I want Donald Trump as far away from the United States Government as possible unless it is defending himself against representatives of our Government in a court of law.

I am not simply angry that our country has fallen for this grifter. I am also ashamed that the country I love has fallen so far away from its principals that they could allow someone like him to become our President. He has capitalized on the fears, the hatreds, and the economic insecurities of Americans, and like any good con-man, has found a way to benefit from them.

In all of this, there is one good thing that Donald Trump has been able to do. He has brought rational people from all over the political spectrum together in their opposition to this unstable, unqualified reality show star being our President. I truly believe that he will be impeached and that it will be the Republicans who impeach him in an effort to save their party from being associated with him in the history books. Even if honorable Republicans are not able to put their love of country above their love of party, maybe their love of party will push them to finally separate themselves from the malignancy of the Donald Trump presidency. America can only hope."

Thank you, Luke!