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.
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.