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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.


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May 20, 2014


I just read this now I am not surprised that comments are nil because you capture the exact way that the luxurious beauty of Spring at its fullest... and exaggerated always in Montreal because of the structure of land and profoundly bittersweet. And on top of it, to find that the garden, that corner of Eden offered to you so beautifully ..... isn't exactly paradisical. What do the other flower people do? Can you at least commiserate? Perhaps if you offer the veggie people some flowers you will get some extremely local vegetables? Not to mention subvert their focus a bit? Or paint flower graffiti on their fence... or.... ?? How about at least a photo of before and after.... or laminate those and hang them on the shed.....??
since a picture is worth a thousand etc etc...

You can measure my discomfort with your grief by how I rush to offer crazy suggestions. And yet I also feel glad to have you in my world, honouring your own grief more purely. Thank you for this little essay.

Thanks, Vivian. I know I'll enjoy watching the progress of my neighbors' vegetables, having been a vegetable grower too for most of my life. Probably the community garden will be more interesting to be mixed. I just think we will also be more individually focused. Thanks for the suggestions and for commenting.

I feel bad now that we've participated in this "urban" vegetable growing trend with those two gigantic boxes Ed built last weekend in our yard! If we lived on your way to work, I'd offer one of them for you to grow your beautiful flowers! Both of our boxes might end up being used for flowers anyway if our efforts at growing edible stuff doesn't get very successful...

It's too bad that the focus of your community garden has changed so much. I know how much you enjoyed that space and the people you met there. I hope you do find peace and quiet there again, at least in the early morning.

Oh, Martine, thank you, but don't give it a thought! If I had as much room as you do, I'd be growing both vegetables and flowers, I'm sure. And I think you'll have a lot of success with your new boxes - deeper soil, more sun!

Spring, with its resurgence, also reminds us that not everything returns. In sere autumn and frigid winter, we can feel as if nature mourns with us. But spring is giddy, and so are Montréalers, after this winter.

I am sorry (and fascinated) by the change in your community garden. While erecting a high-rise vegetable boxes makes economic sense, blocking your flowers' light seems heavy-handed (rooted?)

I have mixed feelings about living in a busy neighborhood within a city. Sometimes I yearn for a country house.
I much prefer flowers over vegetables because, as you said, you can then have cut flowers inside all the time. It makes a big difference.

I visit once in awhile using a link from Leslee's blog, 3rd House. I just wanted to say how much I like your paintings. They're beautiful. You're very talented. Thank you for posting them.

Duchesse, fortunately the new gardener is to my northside, and our plots are all in full sun. I'll get used to the idea - even today I feel better about it.

Rubye Jack: yes, I lived in the country so long it's in my blood and I'll probably never adjust completely to city life, even though it actually suits me better in a lot of ways.

Roberta - thank you so much, both for visiting and for the kind comments about my paintings. I appreciate it a lot.

Beth, I'm sorry it has been a long hard winter and spring for you. But the joy of spring at last is all the greater! I remember my youth in Winnipeg and how short spring was some years - it seems only two weeks between swinter and summer. We are very spoiled on the West Coast where spring stars in January/February and lasts until May, with a parade of different flowers to enjoy each week.

I hope you will still get much pleasure in your garden in spite of the loss of friends and the changes. Something about gardens...always changing. Ours is getting old and many shrubs and perennials have become too tired and need replacing just when we are also getting older and having some difficulty keeping up with it. Yet I love it and hope to stay here the rest of my years.

Oh dear. An example of the groupuscule phenomenon which arrives like nature, red in tooth and claw. It has its origins in the politics of the extreme leftwing: thus members of the Communist Party of Great Britain would probably rather speak to Big Pharma than sit down with members of the British Communist Party. The left is by nature schismatic; by the time any of its sub-ideologies reach the happy state of being able to form a quorum, they ineluctably divide, creating smaller and smaller entities too tiny to be called groups, thus the smaller groupuscule.

And now, imagining in my innocence that the Veggies and the Flower People might be gathered together under the Green umbrella, I find that they are - or may be - inclined to fratch (a marvellous almost onomatopeic verb meaning to argue about less and less). Except that this is altogether on a higher level, more Lenin vs. Trotsky, determinism vs. aetheticism.

Dear Beth, I am on the horns of a proverbial... You know I would follow you anywhere other than to the altar rail (Whoops. Talking communion, here, not the other thing.) and now it seems I must choose between an unabated hunger for asparagus closely followed by globe artuchokes, and the scent of flowers I have for decades called something else but now know to be labelled pinks.

Let's hope this trend can be confined to Canada (preferably Montreal) because this is a decision I'd hate to make. My divided regards.

A lot of people are gung-ho with whatever projects they get involved with, and they always annoy easy-going people like me. But so be it.
Maybe this will all work out. You could trade flowers for vegetables with your garden plot neighbors.
As Marja-Leena says so well, a real garden is one that develops over years and years. We were lucky when we had a garden plot in Germany that it had been lovingly tended and had a quince tree and a yellow plum tree plus a tool shed. and even a tire swing to amuse our daughter while we worked. We were sorry to have to leave all that behind when we moved to Switzerland.

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