Back from Hiatus

January 15th, 2012

by Tom Fischer

The eucomis may be piles of nasty slime, but at least the evergreens distract you.

I’m happy to report that all those unpleasant rumors about my being indefinitely detained over some silly misunderstanding involving hostile governments, endangered plants, and the USDA simply aren’t true. Yes, Overplanters, I know I was away for a very long time; all will be revealed when I publish my memoirs (although I may need to do so under a nom de plume. Really, the stories I could tell!).

Now, where were we? The last time I checked it was March. What? January 2012, you say? I really must have my wristwatch looked at.

So, January, which in this part of the world is rather green and gray and wet. One needs something to lift the spirits, and though it’s a bit early to be ordering plants, it’s an ideal time to peruse the more exciting seed lists and catalogs.  Lately I’ve gone a little berserk over the Alplains catalog–so many interesting choices. (The list of penstemons alone goes on for pages.) This year I want to explore the western North American delphiniums, of which Alplains has an abundance. I’ll report back with the results.

Some of this year's seeds stratifying in the back yard.

I also plan to send an order in to Seedhunt, which has many fascinating nooks and crannies, particularly among California native plants and salvias. (I hear the beckoning cries of Clarkia and Phacelia . . . )

Seed starting, stimulating as it may be, is not the only way to relieve the January gloom. I speak, of course, of that most perfect cocktail, the Manhattan, without which winter would be long, grim slog indeed. Some time ago I stumbled across Ogden Nash’s delightful poem, “A Drink with Something In It,” which celebrates the charms of the Martini, the Old-Fashioned, the Mint Julep, and the Highball. (You can find the complete text here.) But not, unaccountably, the Manhattan. So, in my stumbling and tentative fashion, I have attempted to remedy this lack.

With Apologies to Ogden Nash

There’s something about a Manhattan
That brings you a sense of well-being;
A liquid akin to fine satin,
One sip and your troubles are fleeing.
There’s something about a Manhattan–
And please keep this under your turban–
It’s not just the cherry
That makes you feel merry;
I think that it must be the bourbon.


8 Responses

  1. Ah, Hope what would life be, stripped of thy encouraging smiles, that teach us to look behind the dark clouds of to-day, for the golden beams that are to gild the morrow.

  2. Awesome issues here. I am very glad to see your article. Thanks so much and I’m having a look forward to contact you.
    Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  3. Hello, constantly i used to check weblog posts here early in the daylight, since
    i love to find out more and more.

  4. Kebeca says:

    大文兄 何足掛齒 在學校裏與我較傾得埋的都叫我阿二 但我可不懂得煲靚湯 入了 blog 界 精神與思維世界豐富了很多 認識了很多年輕才俊 真是很暢快的事 ‘基佬 綜援人士’ 之譏我也覺得很奇怪 首先他們也是人 更不是壞人 我對他們從無歧視 每一個人去到這些位置都有他的原因 為何不多一點尊重與同情 大文兄就網友的文章作一點意見 為甚麼又被說成他們了 甚至等而下之 實在毋須這樣啊 順帶一個信息給天使阿修羅網友 我也是2.5代 也是中大校友 給你問句好 laulong

  5. Chris says:

    My friend,
    what a lovely ode, even a year later.

  6. Tom you did Mr. Nash proud. When my cherries ripen this July, I look forward to canning the perfect Manhattan-bound cherry. It’s a worthy goal for any orchardist, cook and home-canner worth his weight in pectin. Look forward to reading more of your wonderful missives and discoveries.

  7. kate says:

    Ah, now I see why a Manhattan makes me feel so chirpy! (My turban holds many secrets, this one included.)

  8. allan becker says:

    No need to explain. Just glad to read that you’re back.

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