Tomatoes and squash never fail to reach maturity. You can spray them with acid, beat them with sticks and burn them; they love it. ~S.J. Perelman, A

Is it weird to want to plant things just because of their "meaning?" You can look it up on the internet, but be careful. If you google, "herb meanings," you can get into some very creepy, new-agey websites. Don't do it! Still a lot of it is very quaint and charming and I'm such a sucker for quaint and charming. Did you know, for example, that cloves represent dignity and Angelica stands for inspiration? Righ now I'm inspired to get online and find out what Angelica even is!

Okay, I'm back now. It's amazing how fast you can edu-ma-cate yourself on the computer these days! Just so you know, Angelica, also known as Wild Archangel and Masterwort, is good for lots of things. Use it as a gargle. Make a nice tonic to strengthen the heart or a poultice for the healing of broken bones. It has antibacterial properties and can be used for washing the face or curing athlete's foot. The powdered root is said to cause disgust for liquor! Try slipping some in your underage kid's diet coke. That'll fix 'em! Plus, it's a very pretty, lacy white flower that reminds me of Queen Anne's Lace. So, Angelica goes in my little garden notebook as something to plant next spring. Not that I'll probably ever make a tonic or a potion or even wash my face with the stuff, but I do like the things I plant to have a charming story behind them.

If it doesn't have a cute story, it should, at the very least, have a fetching name. Black-Eyed Susans. Butter Beans. Pattypan Squash. Seriously. Have you ever seen a Pattypan Squash? They look like little flying saucers or agreeable little creatures that could live in your pocket, except, of course, they have no eyes. Eyes on a squash would just be wrong, but you know what I mean. I hope. Besides, when someone comes over to see your garden and says, "Oh, what are those?" you can say, "Those are Pattypan Squash." It's worth growing them, just to have the opportunity to say their name.

Pattypan Squash will fit quite nicely in a pumpkin patch. I don't know if you've noticed lately, but getting an adequate number of pumpkins for proper October decorating has gotten rather cost prohibitive lately. The last time I went to the farmers market and started doing the math on how many pumpkins I wanted for the front porch and the back porch and the side porch and the stairs and the front doorway and out by the end of the driveway, I started seeing visions of Mark's face in my mind. The look on his face in these visions clearly said that, to him, spending more than a hundred dollars on pumpkins was not only not okay, it was probably a sign of a relatively serious mental illness. So, I thought, "If I can't find a reindeer, I'll make one instead!" Oops! Sorry. Channeling the Grinch. What I meant to say was, if I can't buy 25 pumpkins, I'll grow them instead! Stay tuned to find out how that turns out...

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