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Hasta La Vista, Hostas » Jolana Malkston
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Jun 242014

Jolana Malkston 4Not long after Macho Guy retired, he and I joined a cult. I know, we don’t seem like the type to be brainwashed, but this cult is insidious and relentless. Its members are legion, fanatically loyal, willing to labor endlessly to show their devotion to their cult, and feel no guilt for indoctrinating their neighbors.

That is how, in an unguarded moment, we were ensnared by this cult and became Gardeners.

It started way back when we bought the house on the lake. The previous owner took her backyard hot tub with her, leaving a big ugly brown area of earth where no grass grew. Our kindly new neighbor rushed over with several varieties of hostas she had just divided. She demonstrated where and how to plant them in the formerly big ugly brown area of earth where no grass grew. She didn’t stop there. She found other big ugly brown areas of earth where no grass grew, and she then persuaded us to take more of her divided hostas to populate those additional big ugly brown areas of earth where no grass grew.

Macho Guy desperately wanted a labor-free rock garden but was too polite to refuse the plants. Had he refused, those hostas would have appeared anyway in our big ugly brown areas of earth where no grass grew. We learned much later that our kindly new neighbor was the acknowledged leader of the cult’s splinter sect, the Guerrilla Gardeners. She and her Guerrilla Gardeners frequently staged anonymous freebie planting interventions on their neighbors’ properties while the owners were away or asleep.

The first hint that we were on our way to becoming cult converts manifested itself when we noticed the presence of invaders in our now landscaped areas of earth where flowers grew—an army of weeds. Hardy weeds of every variety known to humankind ambushed our precious hostas. The army of hardy weeds surrounded them.  The army of hardy weeds cut off their supply of water and solar energy. The army of hardy weeds attempted to obliterate and supplant our precious hostas.

You realize, of course, that this sneak attack meant war.

We dashed off to our local gardening center to purchase weaponry—eventually settling on something called Round Up. Here’s the thing; Macho Guy and I didn’t want to round up the invaders. We wanted to kill the invaders. We searched the shelves for weaponry that was more deadly, but we were unable to find any chemical weapons that might be called Belly Up or Die, Dandelions, Die.

We were able to spray and kill the invaders that arose in the spaces between the hostas, but couldn’t spray the invaders surrounding the hostas. They were too close. We would have to get down and dirty. We would have to kill the invaders with our bare hands.

It isn’t easy killing another living thing with one’s bare hands, especially if that living thing has a deep tap root that makes merely yanking it out of the ground an exercise in futility.

We had to resort to primitive weaponry. We armed ourselves with hoes and shovels. Several backbreaking hours later, the invaders were incarcerated in a trash barrel and transferred to a makeshift crematorium where they met their fiery demise. Even with smoke stinging my eyes, I wasn’t able to shed a tear for them. I knew then that I had become a card-carrying Gardener Cult Member.

I woke up the next morning sore all over. It was difficult to decide which muscle in my body hurt the worst. It was too close to call.

Our youngest was visiting from college for the weekend and was drawn to the kitchen at breakfast time by the aroma of bacon frying. At that time, he broke the tragic news. When he arrived home at 2:00 a.m. from a night out with his high school buddies, his car’s headlights illuminated a deer in our front yard—in one of the landscaped areas—munching on something.

Macho Guy almost dropped his coffee mug. I almost burned the bacon. Surely all that weeding hadn’t been for naught, and surely we wouldn’t find a big ugly brown area of earth where our hostas used to be. We exchanged horrified glances and ran out the door in our robes and slippers.

The scene of the horrific massacre took away my appetite. The 2:00 a.m. deer had shown our precious hostas no mercy. It ingested them as if they were deer salad, chewing them right down to the ground. Oh, the hosta inhumanity.

In the past, I scolded Macho Guy for even thinking about hunting—especially deer hunting. I said, “How can you possibly kill cute little Bambi?”

Suddenly, Bambi didn’t seem all that cute any more, and such barbarism cried out for vengeance. I suggested to Macho Guy that it might be a good idea if he kept his rifle handy from now on. We had other hostas that were counting on us for protection.

While Macho Guy cleaned his rifle, it fell to me to alert our Gardener Cult brothers and sisters to the presence of this merciless enemy of greenery in our neighborhood. I got out poster board and a black marker and went to work on a suitable sign.


For Merciless Hostacide


Dead or Alive

[Preferably Dead]

[Unquestionably Dead]

[Terminate With Extreme Prejudice]

  2 Responses to “Hasta La Vista, Hostas”

  1. I think we may have participated in some of those guellia attacks in the past on our neighbors. Occasionally a new beer plant could be found growing where an ordinary tree used to be. We found that by sharing the bounty of the beer plants, friendship grew! Throw in a Sinatra song and we were dancing in the yard. The crazy antics must have kept the deer away from our house but not the teeange children. But that’s another story!!

    I loved your post! Come plant Hostas in our yard anytime you want. 🙂 I have rabbits not deer yet and the rabbits only are eating my marigolds. 🙂

  2. We have an insidious vine that grows everywhere and entwines itself around every other flower/plant/bush/tree in our yard. I’m sure it was once meant to be attractive but it’s now become my arch enemy. I wish the deer would eat it! I’d gladly open the backyard fence for them!

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