Back in the last century, when I used to fly around the country showing slides and talking about plants, I found myself in Canada, a country which, except when certain parts of it insist on sharing their air with my garden, I like quite a lot; its inhabitants especially so.
After a particular entertaining (entertaining for me, anyway) slide show I was taken to a local private club for dinner, and introduced to something called “Canadian food”. Since I was hungry, and enjoying myself even though I missed my wife, I thought I would show our neighbors to the north what real eating is all about.
I forget how many plates of food I had already eaten before I tried something that looked like fettucine alfredo with strips of grilled chicken and lots of garlic; I had to have two helpings before I was sure I liked it as much as I thought I did, at which point I began to worry that I had eaten too much and an explosion of some sort might be imminent.
I am not certain why, just at this moment of doubt, I happened to have a clean, empty plate in my hand, but I did, and one of my friendly hosts filled the plate with a large, flat, round baked item, and began piling strawberries, cream, and so forth, on top of it. I was told that this was a “Belgian waffle” and was worth eating. It was.
My stomach was telling me that nothing good could come from this excess, but I figured there was nothing like several cups of coffee to help wash down this enormous waffle thing.
Back at the house in which I was staying, my discomfort increased to the point where something had to be done. I spent an uneasy night.
I was never invited back. I imagine that, somewhere in Canada, people are still telling tales of “that awful American”.
Speaking of ignoring the obvious, it’s interesting that no one visiting the garden has ever said anything about these.
Maybe people think they’re for “drainage” or that a woodpecker mistook hypertufa for wood. Drainage holes would be at the bottom of a trough, and there is plenty of wood, including the house itself, for woodpeckers to drill into.
About fifteen years ago I bought a couple of Dionysia aretioides, and, knowing that most dionysias grow either upside-down or sideways in their native habitats, I drilled two holes in the side of the trough in order to mimic the conditions they find in nature. They wouldn’t be completely upside-down, just sort of, as the sides of the trough slant inward at the bottom. I planted the dionysias, watered the trough, and went about my business.
I think an explanation of what happened next is unnecessary.