The Exotic Garden in My Mind

Things Beautiful and Forbidden

Story and Photos by John O’Bryan

The holiday season is over, I’ve killed and eaten the fatted turkey (twenty-two pounds of juicy, golden tryptophan) the tree is down, the party hats and confetti of New Year’s Eve are gone, and bloated and lethargic, I turn my thoughts and mind to spring.

It isn’t here yet and I’ll have piles of snow to push before the long winter of my discontent is over in Moscow, but sweetness is already coming in little packages via my friendly government postal worker.

Catalog after glorious catalog fills my mailbox with tempting garden offerings that make me pine for warm weather and look with longing at the spot where we had the worst garden in our history last year. A veritable potpourri of goodness erupts from the little metal box at the end of our driveway, which makes me believe for a few moments that there will be no weeds this year and by spring the clay will have magically turned to loam.   

These garden people know what they’re doing, stuffing my mailbox full of their magazines at exactly the right moment: just when I’ve come off the frenetic high of Christmas spree spending and still have a bit of the post-New Year’s blues, which, as we all know, can only be cured by more spending. I truly can’t afford to buy more stuff, but this time the presents are all for me and besides, is spending money on plants actual, gratuitous spending?

This content is available for purchase. Please select from available options.
Register & Purchase  Purchase Only
John O'Bryan

About John O'Bryan

John O'Bryan was born in southeastern Alaska, moved to Moscow in 1984 to attend the University of Idaho, and never left. He is a husband, dad, granddad, photographer, and fly fisherman—in that order. John can often be found with a camera around his neck, or chasing steelhead on the Clearwater River, or fly fishing Idaho’s blue-ribbon trout streams.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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