Friday, April 5, 2013

A Garden Miracle

Longtime readers of this online entertainment may recalls tales of the Draconculus Vulgaris, which has, "on a mature inflorescence, [a] smell... reminiscent of rotting meat...."  I planted my Vulgar Dragon in 2007, and by 2011 it tricked me into thinking that a raccoon, or perhaps a horse, had died in our backyard.

Last year, the stench was even better/worse, which became a bit of a sadness as Mrs.5000 -- who works from a home office within the plant's sphere of influence -- began to find things a bit intolerable.  Moving the Draconculus didn't seem like an especially suave idea, either, since to do so would necessarily mean sticking it on the property line, not necessarily the most neighborly of gestures.  So, it was with more melancholy than you would probably credit that I voluntarily ripped out my stinky, stinky plant and threw it in the compost.

This past Sunday -- Easter Sunday, in fact -- was an exquisite day in the City of Roses, and in the late afternoon Mrs.5000 and I started the yearly process of trying to keep the long, long retreat of garden entropy from becoming too conspicuous of a rout.  There was some weeding and mowing and edging, and a little planting and a little trying to destroy that which had been unwisely planted in the past.  And after a few hours of this, Mrs. came to where I was working and said "Have you seen how well the Draconculus is doing?"

I found this question very confusing.

So, first she took me to the compost bin:

And then, to the place in the garden where the Draconculus had grown before I made the ultimate sacrifice on its behalf.

You have probably gathered from context that the back of the compost heap has about ten robust young Draconculi volunteering their little leaves up into the sun.  And that when I ripped the parent plant out of the ground last June, there must have been some fairly optimistic bits left underground.

It's a garden miracle!

And under the circumstances, a bit of a compromise has been negotiated.  I think.  We'll see if Mrs.5000 shares this sense after she reads this post.  But I think that my ghastly plant has pretty much won its right to live through its admirable persistence.  It just won't be allowed to reach, or at least survive, another fully "mature inflorescence."  In other words, it's allowed to stink a little, but once it starts to stink a lot, it gets yanked again... and then presumably rises again.  And that goes for any of the new little dragons from the compost heap, too.

Local readers who would like a start of this distinctive and pugnacious plant, with its lovely variegated stems, its absurdly sexual purple flowers, and its brief but unforgettable midsummer reek -- I would be happy to share one of the compost heap volunteers with you.  Say the word.


Nichim said...

I want one! Do you ship? Is it hardy in Zone 3?

Nichim said...

Looks like maybe not. Central Vermont is no Crete. But I could maybe grow it in a pot, or dig up the bulb in the fall and bring it inside like the dahlias. At least there wouldn't be a lot of chance of it nativizing, although it might make friends with some skunk cabbages if it did.

gl. said...

a good compromise.

Jenners said...

Plants that you cannot kill and stink are WEEDS and should be treated as such.

Michael5000 said...

Jenners: Well, a "weed" is really just a plant that is undesirable in a given context. Whereas the Dracunculus has lovely variegated stems, enormous, absurdly sexual purple flowers, and a brief but unforgettable midsummer reek!!! I understand that it's not for everybody, of course -- it's a weed in your yard -- but I find it pretty fascinating.