satisfaction guaranteed or your money back

I returned the light bulb and got the correct size. I also bought furnace filters, the right size. I even remembered to put them in the car.

This is a big deal for me. For one thing, I have a history of not wanting to go back and get something I left behind, probably because when I was about seven my whole collection of Tinker Toys was left in a box on top of the car after a day at the beach, and as we drove away, I could hear the Tinker Toys clatter onto the asphalt. My mom said we were not going back to get them, no matter what, and the sense that it might be slightly embarrassing to stop all the traffic to pick up a bunch of little wooden things has stayed with me for over half a century.

In the same way, I rarely return things to stores. I’m a timid consumer, so it was an unusual experience to exchange a light bulb that cost $3.49 for another one.

I wonder what gardening would be like if people returned plants because they weren’t hardy, were wrongly named (spelling doesn’t count, even though, rose people, it’s ‘Rose de Resht’, with no C anywhere), needed ten times more water than the label claimed, and so on.


“Said of habitats“. (This is from Benson’s Cacti of the United States and Canada.) Habitats, not gardens where they “hardly ever water.” Using the word to mean watering in a garden is like a politician talking about “too much government” or “more freedom”. I want to know where a plant grows in the wild, and what the climate is there, not how little someone, somewhere, might be watering it and what this person’s unique definition of “watering” is.

I wouldn’t return those plants anyway, because they’re plants, for one thing, and for another, once you start buying unusual plants, some research would be a good idea. Research first, then purchase, I mean.

Knowing how big the plants really get might be a help.

I thought the “desert bamboo” sounded nice when I bought it. It is nice, really, but not quite as small as I pictured it would be; had I access to Flora of China at the time I might have reconsidered.



And then there’s this ugly thing. For some reason I thought Pinus uncinata was going to be a cute dwarf, like a mugo but with hooked somethings (needles?); instead it wants to be 300 feet tall and hates the pruning I do to try to keep it dwarf. The long, wavy branches are hideous. I could have looked this up, too.


Now this is my idea of living up to advertising. Daphne × transatlantica ‘Alba Everblooming’. The Cistus catalog  says “this white flowered form of the nearly everblooming daphne is easy and satisfying to grow”. Well, it is. And as it evident, it’s blooming now, and that makes me happy. Everything should be like that.


too much sun, but there’s always too much sun.

Contrary to my expectations, the light bulb fit into the weird socket just like it was supposed to, and didn’t blow up when I plugged it in and turned it on. I can see now.

The dog is staring at me again, and things are pretty much back the way they were.

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2 Responses to satisfaction guaranteed or your money back

  1. Loree says:

    I can’t imagine having too much sun.

    • paridevita says:

      It can happen. People who move here from the east coast talk about having to squint for years until their eyes adjust to the ever-present (almost ever-present) sun. I worked with a guy who’d move here from Seattle and referred to it as “the death star”.
      In winter, there can be snow on the ground, but if you find a place next to a wall or something, it’s warm. Of course, as you run there, you’re blinded by the glare from the snow, and your lips are so chapped they feel like they’re about to fall off….


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