Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Today was a sunny afternoon, around sixty degrees, perfect to spend at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden — unless God hates you and cursed you with allergies. I'm not a big fan of plants, but there are two good reasons to check out the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens when the weather's right: the Japanese garden and the cherry-blossom season, which is in peak bloom right around now.

I'm a bit jealous, since every plant I touch turns to dust in a matter of days. We've got something that kind of resembles a garden at our house, tulips and lilies, but its life cycle is so depressing I wish it weren't even there. Fifty-one weeks of the year, they're just these ugly brown leafy sprout things. One day in April, they bloom and they're gorgeous, and for the next six days, they pretty much fall apart, leaf by dying leaf. I don't know what I'm doing wrong: they get food and water and only occasionally run over by my car.

We've also got a bunch of hideous, non-flowering plants in front of our house and I'm surreptitiously trying to kill them, with no success at all. My dad actually pays to have these monstrosities put into the ground, and I'm supposed to water them. (Dad, plants have survived hundreds of millions of years without me watering them. We're disrupting their natural evolution! This is just playing God! Uh... plant God.) I don't get the point of non-flowering shrubbery — aside from their role in the carbon cycle and keeping life on the planet functioning, I mean. They're just big blobs of fauna, without any structure like a bonsai tree, shape like an evergreen, or color like flowers. And they attract bees, but thankfully not so many lately.

Seriously, pests though they are, the disappearing bees — colony collapse disorder — is a big damn problem. No bees means no pollination, which means no plants, which means no animals that eat the plants, which means no food for us. On that happy note, here's the obligatory pretty pictures.

Ironically, the cherry blossom garden and the Zen garden are both full of New York City's perennial Japanese tourist population. Which confounds me. When I get the time and money to visit Tokyo, it's not like I'm gonna be spending my vacation at Hyper-Convenience U.S. Mart.