I talk to myself, a lot. I rarely have anything interesting to say, but I just keep babbling. I also talk to the dog (who understands more than he lets on), to my late wife, to the birds, rabbits, squirrels, and any other creature I happen on in the garden.

I also talk to my plants. Sometimes they do talk back, in their plant language. Things like “Will you please look at me? I’m dying of thirst over here.”

I know almost all their names, their botanical names, without labels, which I find ugly (though I do have a few to remind me of plants new to the garden, also of bulbs I’d rather not slice through with a trowel), and, because of this, I try to avoid putting plants in the garden that have less-than-terrific names.

Here’s one. Penstemon ‘Glitterbelle’. Or maybe it’s ‘Glitterbell’. I wish I could forget it, but I can’t. I think about it every time I walk by it, which is constantly.


Why did I buy it? (Them, really.) Because it’s a penstemon, it’s called ‘Glitterbelle’ (or ‘Glitterbell’), it was for sale (at the DBG Mother’s Day plant sale), and if I hadn’t bought it, then I couldn’t say I was growing it, complain about its name, pretend to be a snob about such things, or have written this post. That’s how this works.


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