Home & Design

Green Acre #46: Bliss in a Bottle

OH, LOOK WHAT I just bought!  Well, I bought most of it.

The urban gardener’s intended effect, had she had her plastic bottle.

These jolly green lanterns sparked with insignificant yet sprightly white flowers dingle-dangle from what look like stems of bamboo. There was a mountainous display of them at Washington DC’s Eastern Market, and, as the flower witch who tends the stall assured me, they will last for three weeks. $20. Three weeks. That’s, uh . . . $6 and change per week. A great deal more than the nothing I usually spend but really—is this not a fantastic sight?

The bunch, which was sizable to begin with, is nestled in some leafy branches that were downed in a big wind (with maybe a little twist of the wrist to aid and abet), a handy idea when you have only a little this and that and want to DO SOMETHING with it. In this case, the branches provide support for the slender stems and also amplify their fabulousness, which I’ve then doubled by standing the display in front of a mirror.

It’s all stuffed into a broken pedestal that I’ve blathered on about at least once before. Since it’s plaster, and porous, it won’t hold water.  A plastic water bottle with the top sawed off is stuck in the opening. This is a very handy idea for rescuing leaky vases, and items that were never meant to be vases but would look good with a little floral action. Like maybe a boot.

That is, when one’s Prince has not discarded one’s bottle, which is what happened on this particular occasion.

Before we flew off to Havana several weeks ago, I did a cleaning. Along with making sure one has on reasonable underwear in case one gets hit by a truck on the way to wherever, I make sure my house is reasonably tidy in case the plane goes down and the house is crawled over by weeping survivors who will no doubt comment on my housekeeping skills, ignoring the fact that a little mess is the mark of an interesting woman, or so an old friend once insisted and I took to heart.

The discarded detritus included ancient headphones that had lost the spongy pads, a shot pair of sandals and a broken pair of sunglasses. Of course these were retrieved from the trash bin and put on the kitchen counter with a note from himself: “Did you mean to throw these away?”

Meanwhile, he had taken it upon himself to throw out my plastic water bottle.

I ask you. Does he ever throw out anything of his own? How is it that he so cavalierly feels he can decide what of mine is trash?

One (meaning him) would think this is not a big deal; in fact he offered words to that effect—something about the multitude of plastic water bottles in the fridge. But! That was a special bottle. First I had to locate a tape measure and then I had to measure and then I had to write the measurement on a piece of paper and then I had to go to the market with the paper and the tape measure and measure water bottles to find the perfect fit.  And, as this all took place more than a few minutes ago, I forgot which brand and size I had settled on.

So I’m standing there, distraught, envisioning this fabulous bunch of stuff exploding behind the living room sofa. I stuck the bunch in another vase and proceeded to sulk.

Thankfully, as it turned out, the water bottle had dropped and rolled under the radiator as The Prince was taking out the trash, so this crisis was averted.*  What you see here in my picture was the effect I intended.

—Stephanie Cavanaugh

LittleBird Stephanie writes about flowers and city gardening and The Prince, her husband of many years, whose name we may someday learn. Or not.

*Dammit. The mourners would have found that bottle under the radiator, and Who would be blamed, I ask you?

2 thoughts on “Green Acre #46: Bliss in a Bottle

  1. Janet Kelly says:

    My guy practically never throws his own stuff out. But he’s always urging me to get rid of mine. Such an injustice.

  2. Carol says:

    Laughing and weeping!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *