Works in the Herald 1933

Though recent heavy rains have now banished the threat of insect pests from many gardens, in places missed by the rain thrips and caterpillars, fruit flies and froghoppers still make merry with countless cousins among the summer blooms.

There's a looper caterpillar in my lupins,
   There are weevils weaving strands about my stocks,
There are throngs of thieving thrips
On my seedlings and my slips,
   And the hoppers hop around my hollyhocks.
While the aphis eats my early antirrhinums,
   All oblivious to the dreadful damage done,
And the jassids, jazzing gaily
Round dead jonquils, jar me daily ....
   Yet I'd thought to take up gardening "just for fun."
I have blown 'em with a bellows filled with sulphur;
   I've assaulted 'em with arsenate of lead;
I have prayed a vengeful prayer
As I sprayed 'em with a sprayer;
   But the cross-grained little cuses won't stay dead!
I have bathed 'em with enough benzole emulsion
   And deadly drugs to drop them in their tracks;
Then I vainly sought their slaughter
With a stong tobacco water ....
   And I'd thought to take up gardening "to relax."
Now the strange, unlovely scent of lime-and-sulphur
   Outvies the sweet bouquet of bud and bloom.
And the smell of Bordeaux mixture
On my person is a fixture;
   So my wife won't let me in our drawing room.
Dark odors hang about herbaceous borders
   Where I seek the stealthy sluglet after dark.
But my garden has undone me:
Even little children shun me ....
   And I'd thought to take up gardening "for a lark."

Herald, 6 December 1933, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002