CONSIDER THE CASTOR BEAN
"Pretty they are not,but a garden can labor under a surfeit of prettiness,be too sweet or cheerful for its own good."
This book 'My Favorite Plant' is said in the introduction to be a garden like the author would create. Beautiful flowers, exotic plants,comforting memories, sweet dreams and harsh reality.
Enclosed in a book that resembles a diary or journal.
Every garden has a dark side, this one of words no exception.
Michael Pollan talks about castor bean being the slightly evil twin of sunflowers.
"The sunflowers seed tasty and nourishing,the castor bean poisonous.
The sunflower open and familar the castor flower dark and of a sinister beauty."
In Marigold even the beauty is abandoned while confusion and ugly reality hide behind the commonness.
This can be natures way.
A fuzzy baby rabbit is often caught and ripped to bloody shreds for a bird of preys dinner.
A rose carries weapons,bees sting,disease smells bad and is ugly,rats are wildlife.
The gardener often uses herbicides and pesticides with labels that must carry warnings of possible dangers.
We to have our darkness.
Of course the book only briefly touches on this idea.
For as gardeners we accept that the garden is a living system. There is work and adversity.Not every day is happy or easy.
As with our family,our pets, our lives the caring and enjoyment of a garden is deepened by the complex nature of our interaction.
'My Favorite Plant' took me by suprise. I was thinking cotton candy and received dark chocolate.
Never judge a book before its read...