(It's the Boston accent that really gets me.)
ABlooper Reel

Area Woman Plants Thing, Expects Some Sort of Medal When it Doesn't Die



Is taking photos of stuff in your garden the housewifely equivalent to men pounding on their chests and screaming like Tarzan?


Because seriously, I accidentally lopped off a large portion of this vine (it's a Clematis, but we call it a Chlamydia) while planting it. The whole thing started to shrivel up and die and I was like, eff this, I'm buying some plastic flamingos and garden gnomes and no one can stop me, and then! Look! It came back from the near-dead and there's a motherfucking flower that I practically grew with my own two hands. With my own force of will and gardening skillz and also these vines are pretty much just indestructible weeds that you can buy for $10.99 at Home Depot.

My husband, on the other hand, is just being a show-off.


This is his herb garden.


And his other herb garden.

Whatever. They are not purple. Mine is purple.

However, all attempts by both parties to re-fold the baby pool have been met with resounding failure.


Fuck this shit, I'm going back inside.

Edited to add: a few of you already noticed, but the URL for the Advice Smackdown column has changed. Alpha Mom launched a shiny new version of their website over the weekend and the URL structure is different. Or something. They explained it really well but all I heard was "Take this week off until we have the site running smoothly" and I was all, "Party!"

So. New Advice Smackdown URL. But no new columns this week. Update your bookmarks and check back next Monday for all the vain and vapid goodness you've come to expect from me.



I always take pictures of what I grow because when it dies (and it will because I am a crappy gardener) I still have proof that stuff was alive at one time.


Wait... you mean I can't take credit for the dandelions I "planted"? CRAP!!


I'm almost first!!!
I'm delurking to tell you I always take pics of my garden, and then make everyone look at them and tell me what a great gardener I am! Seriously, LOVE your blog, keep it up, you are so real.

Dacia :-)

AM I number 4? Holy Shit!

Great herbs... what's really in there ;-)


My husband has named our clematis a "screaming clitoris."


Yes! Yours rule more beause it's RAVENS PURPLE!!! WHOOO!!!

Pretty flower =)

Katie Kat

Yes, I, too, have clitoris... I mean CLEMATIS. But, I managed to actually KILL mine. It took a lot of effort though, and I am so proud. It was a blooming beauty, but was just too bushy and overtaking the side of the house, so I cut it back... then back some more... then I cut it back to the ground for winter. Then I planted a new little plant over the dead plant. It died. Yay me! My black thumb goes UNCHALLENGED!

Good news is this... Clematis comes back every year (kinda like Chlamydia). ROCK ON SISTAH GARDEN QUEEN!

Mama T

The green thumb rule for Clematis is hot heads, cool feet. They like to have shaded roots so mulch/ground cover/big rock/Jason's ass, whatever, just keep it covered.


Oooooohhhhhh, lookit the pretty purple flower. Niiice.
Jason's herb garden reminded me of the time my dad told me that he was growing a Spanish Tomato plant. It turned out to be a pot plant. I always wondered why it never produced any tomatoes...

Wacky Mommy

Nice work, kids.


We have the same folding problem with the pop-up "easy to fold and pack" beach tent we got to protect our delicate flower of a son from the badbadbad sun. Last time I checked, it was in a half-popped-up, half-twisted-with-possibly-broken-tubes mess in a dark corner of the garage.

Miss Britt

Don't tell your husband I said this... but his Herb Garden totally looks like weeds. Where as yours is a FLOWER!

I am only allowed to plan things with actual flowers, otherwise I can't tell the difference between the plant and the weed and I end up letting it all grow just to avoid accidentally chopping off a real plant.


Awesome - it makes me want to go plant something. Of course, I'm lazy, so I probably will not.


Astoundingly, I, also, have not yet killed the flowers in my porch flower boxes. The "yet" is not to imply that you will eventually kill your vine, it is implying that, if history is any indication, I will eventually kill mine. Because apparently, flowers need water or something. And you have to remember all summer! Not just when they're new!


"it's a Clematis, but we call it a Chlamydia" Ha, ha, ha! I too, have a Clematis in my yard, which I only know because my gardener friend identified, and I always want to refer to it as Chlamydia. I'm so glad I'm not alone on this. It's planted around my mailbox, and despite the fact that I basically ignore it, well, all the time, it has flourished and grown ever since I moved in. I even had to buy a decorative stand-thing (yeah, I'm all about the technical terms) to put behind the mailbox for it to latch onto, otherwise I would never be able to reach my mail again. My friend has given me crap, because apparently some people have a really hard time maintaining this plant (although from the comments section here, perhaps he was wrong), and that they'll be out watering and fertilizing and nurturing to no avail, while meanwhile I'm in the basement playing on my computer going, "What? There's a plant outside? And it's blooming? Well good for it!"

Kathy/ Lessons from the Laundry

Yes, the triumph over dead plants is definitely Suburban Utopia. Congrats.


Tell Jason I have his ass beat but good. I have way more herbs than he does.

So there, foodie boy.

P.S. Gorgeous chlam...errr...clematis!


am i the only one who can't get onto advice smackdown??????uggggg i need to read stuff, is it just my computer or can anyone else get on?


I look at plants and they die, so I stand in awe.

And I am GREEN over Jason's herbs.

Papa Bradstein

Taking pictures of flowers you've grown is the equivalent of men taking pictures of their pickups and motorcycles.

We've killed several houseplants. Either our house is toxic to plants, or we should stop buying plants at a store best known for selling semi-disposable Swedish furniture and get them at, I don't know, a nursery, perhaps?

And you should go back inside. It's hot enough to melt your face out there.


Your purple flower is quite remarkable. I have to say, though, I'm a little more impressed with the herbs. Only because I would love a herb garden myself and herbs you can eat. You can't eat your purple flower.


There ARE flowers you can eat that are pretty easy to grow. Sneakily put a few Nasturtium seeds in Jason's herb garden and then, when they bloom, say, "Honey, what kind of herbs are these?" and then grab one and eat it.

I dare you.

All the cool kids are doin' it.

I'll give you a dollar.

Linda B

Can Jason tell me how to do that, because I want to grow some herbs but you know, I have problems with the killing of plants and all. Also, what are all the herbs in his pots?


no freaking WAY. you call it chylamidia?! becaus that's what i call it too! we have 5 vines and i always give it the STD name. ha!

Woman Lost

Clematis are awesome and come in a really cool hot pink as well. We always called it Clitoris!!


We call it clitoris.


Delurking here. This is totally OT, but you have to see this:



I understand the clematis thing. I can’t grow it or say it. When I called Home Depot for advice I confused it with a body part (by mistake). Now every time I see clematis, I feel anxious.


Dude, do you know how easy it is to grow herbs? They spread like wildfire, that's why you put them in pots... lest your entire yard, your neighbor's yard, and maybe even the local playground are covered in herbs. So there! You win suburbia! Great clematis!!

P.S. I am just as nerdy over my tomato plants. I maybe even talk to them a little to encourage them to grow. Dork!


You have a folding baby pool? Wow, technology has really improved since Bossy's kids were toddlers.

Bethany Coffey

Love LOVE the fact that your husband has an herb garden. And yes, those clematis are hardy little guys. If you like a plant like that that you can almost not kill. Try Jasmine too, it's also a vine and has a great canopy drape effect.


will jason be my husband's sensei? i want me a MANNNNN who can plant two thriving herb gardens.

also, clematic rokks.


Hi - love the plants. Long time reader delurking becasue a friend sent me a new web link and my firt thought was how much you would like it. http://www.mr-lee-catcam.de/index.htm

GENIUS. His description of making the cat cam is freaking hilarious, and the captions - PRICELESS. Hope you like.

samantha jo campen

My best friend and I just tried to fold up that same damn pool for my nephew this weekend.

Those directions are the biggest piece of crap I've ever read. I figured I couldn't fold it because I don't have The Mom Gene yet but apparently that doesn't matter. That pool is the devil.


I am so happy I'm not the only person in the entire world that can't grow a DAMN THING!!!! Well, at lease not the first time around. My husband calls my plants "Frankenstein's monters" because I usually kill them once and then amazingly bring them back to life!!!! "IT'S ALIVE!!!"
In the winter I bring my plants in and then the husband calls it "Krish's little shop of horrors" or (as motioning to the baywindow where the plants are kept) "The torture chambers."
The final insult was when I potted silk Ivy in the planters on the back patio. Well, we have REALLY REALLY strong winds and it tore all the leave of the fake ivy.... Yes, I can kill fake plants too. GEEEZ!


I don't think the purple flower plant grows in the greater Seattle area - because I don't think I've ever seen one before this. You must live someplace warm or like where you have more than 3 days of sunshine a year (I'm jealous!!). Can I join the club if I've managed to kill cacti?? Honestly, they're still sitting dead in the IKEA pot over my kitchen sink; I could even take a picture to prove it........


Ack! Is there no RSS feed at the new smackdown site? How will I know the very second a new post goes live?


Purple > herbs ANY DAY, I say.


You definitely win suburbia!


I totally thought I was all naughty and original for calling the clematis that came with our suburban bungalow, "clitoris." Didn't even occur to me to call it chlamydia. Damn.


How happy was I to pull up your site and see one of my favorite plants?!? Good job!! It's lovely. I totally get wanting to take pics of your flowers; I have sent my family way more photos of my clematis, hydrangeas [one of which it looks like you have, too, in front of your clematis] and african violets than they've ever needed to see. Don't know if you've read up on clematis, but if not, don't be alarmed when it seems to die over the winter; that's totally normal and it will come back. If Home Depot gave you a label with it, so you know the specific name, look it up to see when the best time is for pruning; some types prefer a little trim just after flowering, some like it better in the fall, etc. But if you never get around to that, it will probably still be pretty.


Lauren - there is a feed! All the way down at the bottom of the center column: http://www.alphamom.com/smackdown/atom.xml


Funny. We have a Clematis plant and have called it Chlamydia for years. My mother actually thinks that's the real name for it, we've said it so much.

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