Sunday, April 22, 2018

our little queen turns fifteen, the rest of us being barbarians

Our girl has a birthday today.

 And she's quite well, thanks for asking.

The other day at work I had a sudden desire to read a gardening journal of some sort. I looked through the 635s and came up with Onward and Upward in the Garden, by Katharine S. White.
She was married to E.B. White - yes, him! - and these are essays published in the late 50s through 1970. I don't think I'll glean any practical advice from them, but the first few entries are critiques of seed and plant catalogs ; I've never thought deeply when looking at one of these, but now I'm thinking I've been remiss. 

She then moves on to books and here she speaks of a Mrs. Loudon, author of The Ladies' Companion to the Flower-Garden. 

"[Mrs. Loudon] even includes a few unpopular flowers, the most invigorating of which I think is

The Squirting Cucumber. An annual gourd-like plant, with woolly leaves, and yellow flowers, the fruit of which resembles a small cucumber; and which, when ripe, bursts the moment it is touched, scattering its seeds, and the half-liquid, pulpy matter in which they are contained, to a considerable distance. This quality made it a favorite, in gardens, a century ago, when some people were yet in a state of sufficient barbarism to find amusement in the annoyance of others; but it has now deservedly fallen into disrepute, and is seldom grown.

I'm afraid I know several little modern American barbarians who would be delighted if their grandmothers would grow them a supply of squirting cucumbers."

Don't we all. I may be one of them. :D


  1. Happy sweet fifteen to your little queen! She is so cute!!

  2. Replies
    1. If you mean you were never a barbarian, I'm sure that's true, Gretchen. :)

  3. Happy birthday to 'your girl'!

    And how interesting...I too had the urge to read a gardening journal (The 3,000 Mile Garden). It must be something in the air :) xx

    1. I've heard of that book - I would like to read it. And it's spring that's finally in the air here. I guess you are thinking (way) ahead?

  4. Happy Birthday, Dolly! I think I would like a squirting cucumber too!

  5. Happy (belated) birthday, Dolly!