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Amanda's Garden Agenda

 Amanda's Garden 

 Words to guide, inspire and entertain  


Zucchini and Other Menaces

Saturday, December 08, 2012

There’s a great chapter in Garrison Keillor’s ‘Lake Woebegon Days’ that has to do with what happens in the middle of the summer… with the zucchinis. Suddenly the town is overrun; every day there are thousands more; they grow to obscene sizes [specially for the religious folks]…. Soon no one will take your offering of ‘a couple of zucchinis’, which translates as a bushel. People leave them in open cars. They leave them on back steps at midnight. They hide them in their neighbor’s barn, maybe on the tractor seat. I digress. I want to talk about some lemon verbena.

Lemon verbena in tea. 

Several years ago I was at a friend’s house and she had a lovely clipped bed of lemon verbena. The bees were droning, and it smelled heavenly and the leaves were crisp and bright. I asked her if I could have a rootlet or two, and she shot me a dirty look. Oh sure, she said, and went and got a shovel. She dug out a car tires’ worth, and asked if I had a tarp in my car. Take all you want, she said, and I couldn’t figure out the dirty look.

5 years later as I am pulling it out of cracks in my sidewalk, mowing it flat, and ripping it out, I realize that the dirty look was directed at the plant.

I do still love the smell [it’s also a wonderful soothing tea] this plant is a menace if not watched closely. And unlike zucchini, you can’t leave it on your neighbor’s step at midnight… but I have noticed that it is growing on my neighbor’s lawn.

Amanda Bennett

photo: Heike Rau, 

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