"Hypnotized By A Strange Delight . . ."

My lilac is in bloom right now, and the smell is intoxicating. I feel like I live in a storybook cottage every time I take the walk between my front door and my car.

But since moving here two years ago, I've avoided something. My lilac must be pruned. The problem with pruning a lilac — I've, er, read — is that it's a three-year process. And for those three years there aren't any blooms, because the lilac's flower bud is at the tip of the last year's growth (meaning, it doesn't form in the spring). Well, I was going to slash it, hack it, chop it this winter, but I never found the heart (or energy, let's not kid ourselves here) to do so.

Now I'm glad I waited.

Because I've finally made the lilac/My Little Pony Poof & Puff Palace connection. You see, the MLPP&PP had one of those fantastic rubber squeezy perfume thingies on top, and when squeezed, it released this subtle but fantastic scent. I had no idea what it was, but I LOVED that smell. In fact, this scent was so fantastic that my sister once noticed it in her office's restroom soap dispenser and called me immediately with the exciting news. And now I know it's lilac.

Lilac! I have a Poof & Puff Palace in my front yard!

Now I'm on a mission to purchase a lilac/pony perfume. It's always wonderful when the smell of a toy you had as a child — a sweet Strawberry Shortcake doll, the warm, plastic-y smell of an action figure — can trigger such complete feelings of happiness.

And speaking of happiness, the bees must be ecstatic, for I have noticed that pollination looks a lot like copulation:


Sentimental Saturday

Last summer, my husband and I lost our beloved Peeg.

(Notice the carrot stains under his chin. He ate — and pooped — several pounds of carrots a week!)

Jarrod and I live on the sentimental end of the emotional spectrum, so after burying him in our backyard and surrounding him with garden statuary left by the previous homeowners, we decided to plant an old-fashioned bleeding heart above the grave. Unfortunately, it wasn't Dicentra spectabilis season. Our local nursery couldn't help us and neither could any nursery online. I finally located a single store still selling them. We ordered and the plant arrived, bareroot, on our porch a week later. Bareroot, of course, being a common way to ship perennials. Too bad we didn't know what "bareroot" meant — even though the answer was, duh, in the name.

After scanning and rescanning the planting instructions (which assumed we were Master Gardeners working for the Queen of England) and searching and researching the internet for bleeding heart instructions (not realizing that bareroot was bareroot, no matter what the plant), we got tired of waiting and went for it, planting two-thirds of it in the ground and one-third of it above ground. Whoopsie! We realized this was a mistake once the part above ground, you know, died and fell off. I thought for sure we'd killed poor Peeg's plant and that we were terrible, horrible parents who deserved to have their golden retriever taken away from them.

But, like all my favorite stories, this one has a happy ending. Because for the last three weeks, this has been growing in my backyard:

And today, I saw them. Two tiny, bleeding hearts — one for me, one for my husband.

We miss you, Peeg.