Lady Bush's Lovers

The guy at Mahoney's Gardens told me I should buy a male for the female holly I picked out. After examining an array of suitors, I made a choice of a specimen that seemed healthy and virile.

While digging the holes on both sides of my driveway, I was thinking of the names I would give them. We have names for much of our greenery. A favorite tree is known as Jack Oakie.....a movie star of the 1940's. What would be better than George and Barbara for a couple of bushes? .. a couple from Kennebunkport Maine.

Close examination of both before berry time revealed that the buds for George were convex and Barbara were concave. . . not unlike the animal kingdom.

George and Barbara thrived for many years. Barbara showed her fondness for George by giving us myriads of flaming red berries. In late fall she donated her fruit to what seemed like all the robins on the Cape.
One day I noticed that George wasn't feeling well. His leaves were drooping and losing their dark green complexion. Mahoney's prescribed a remedy but it didn't help. After many attempts to bring him around it was obvious that he was on his last roots. I said good-bye and dug him up. . . unlike the animal kingdom where we dig them down.

I wondered how Barbara was going to take this. Would she pine away and follow George to the compost heap?
The following year Barbara produced her usual bountiful berries. How could this be? Barbara is fertile and George is on the brush pile. She has to know another. I inquired in the neighborhood and learned that a male holly lived across the street. I considered renaming her the Merry Widow. Then again it could be George wasn't as virile as I thought.

We are thankful for the annual emissions from the convex buds of our neighboring bush and welcome new bright berries which last all summer until the robins gorge themselves for the winter. Barbara keeps going and doesn't miss the services George allegedly provided.

I expect if the amorist across the street thinks one day that he's had it and he's "bushed", Barbara will survive , even if we have to purchase the services of a prince consort at Mahoney's.