Greetings from Seattle

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Gardening Isn't Always Joyful

I have to chuckle at a bit of an inside joke about that title. Our garden club, affiliated with the Northwest Perennial Alliance, chose the name Joyful Gardeners when we formed some years ago. I never liked it, thought it was far too unclever. I am passionate about gardening, but it is not always joyful.

Like yesterday. I was doing a job that I don't like, but like the results of, cleaning up the flower stalks and yellowing foliage of scilla, or wood hyacinths, that spread like weeds, are lovely when they bloom along with the tulips, and then quickly go to ugly. 

I was working in the rose bed, at the base of the bird house post.
Last year we had chickadees in this bird house, which I loved. I hadn't seen them this year. 

 We decided that this was a good place to put our rented Mason bees this year. They are friendly, non-aggressive bees, so I was quite startled when I was suddenly under attack by a bee that was insistent on getting to my head or face.

I fought it off but it was persistent, and despite my flapping and screaming, it stung me on my left eyebrow. 

Well, I knew that wasn't going to turn out well. I swell up grandly from bee stings. That was yesterday morning. This is me today. 

Turns out Tom knew there were yellow jacket wasps in the bird house, and had mentioned it to me, but it hadn't registered. Now I know. 

I abandoned that job, applied some ice, and took a Benadryl, and then went back to work in another part of the garden for the rest of the morning. Of course the Benadryl made me groggy, so I didn't get much done the rest of the day. 

So now I get to go around looking like this. It hurt yesterday, and now today it itches. Such fun.

Gardening is not always joyful. 

Now, if you haven't already done so, be sure to scroll down to see the post about Heronswood, the result of other passionate gardeners. 


  1. sorry to hear about your sting...that's not fun or joyful! take care of you and rest awhile!

  2. Ouch! So sorry & hope your eye returns to normal soon. You really should stop picking fights at the bar.

  3. Gracious I’m glad you’re not scheduled for a public role in the royal wedding. Bees, yellow jackets, and wasps frighten me because you never know who’s drastically allergic to them.

  4. Oh, my, that wasp did a number on you. That would definitely take the joy out of gardening.

  5. Oh no! That looks so painful! I'm allergic to bee stings and have to go to the ER if I get stung. I sure hope it improves quickly - if not go see your doctor just to be safe.

  6. You poor thing. What a slammer. I hope you are better now. Doesn't seem fair when you are just doing something good for the area.

  7. OwowowowOW!!! I'm glad you will be getting over this quickly, as you always do. What a shiner!!! :-(

  8. If there's one redeeming features about Yellow Jackets I'm not aware of it. So sorry one got you.

  9. That is some bite! It takes time to get confidence back to be around bees again and watch out for those yellow jackets.

  10. Oh, how awful! Yellow Jackets are just plain mean. Hope you feel better soon. You write the best posts, no matter what you are writing about.

  11. That looks sore...indeed, gardening is not always joyful.

  12. Yikes that is awful. You know people are going to look at Tom strangely when you are out together. You need a tee shirt that points to him and says,"He didn't do it, a bee did."


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