...is a killer weed.
Lovely. And OF COURSE it's a killer weed, because what else would thrive in my garden? I, the one who kills houseplants like it's going out of style, have a deadly weed growing on my front lawn. And I even think it's pretty. I even used it's berries in my winter decorations last year (gasp!).
And I just learned, via the ever-helpful Professor Google, that those very same berries - if ingested - can cause you to simultaneously be "cleaned out at both ends", or die. Depending on the toxicity of the plant. Talk about a bad day.
So now of course I'm freaked out. And like any rational human being with access to the internet, I rely on it to provide me with the most accurate information. Here is what I learned about the pretty but parasitic (not to mention incredibly toxic) bittersweet nightshade that is growing along my driveway:
- Ingesting the berries constitutes a "medical emergency", but there is a recommended dosage for preparing a stem infusion. Me = confused.
- There are many types of bittersweet. Some are not invasive, some are considered a protected species, some are poisonous, and some will cause you to grow a third eyeball and sprout a tail if you even look in their general direction (joke).
- It's been used to treat herpes (no joke!), dizziness, vertigo, allergies, eczema, jaundice, and asthma, among other ailments. But it can't be used to treat the growth of third eyeballs and tails. Sorry.
I also learned that Professor Google is dangerous, and not akin to the Mad Hatter pulling me down his rabbit hole of weirdness when it comes to investigating things like this. There are some things I would have rather not known and sometimes I just need to back the hell away from the computer and give it a rest.
So instead, I will impress you with my knowledge of the other, more wholesome plants growing on our tiny spit of property. Be prepared to be shocked and awed by my extensive plant vocabulary:
Lily. Of the genus Orangus Biggus. Used in ancient rites of olfactory indulgence, and also as a chalice for dewdrop moonshine.
Sunflower. Or rather, the start of a sunflower. I know that this is a sunflower because we planted it from a packet of seeds and stuck a Popsicle stick into the ground next to it that says "DO NOT PICK THIS SUNFLOWER UNDER PAIN OF NEVER-ENDING TICKLES. NISSA THAT MEANS YOU." But seeing as how she can't read, it was kind of a pointless exercise. Genus Hugus Largus Gigantus. Used in modern planting to camouflage ugly chain link fences.
And any half-competent pretend gardener, such as myself, knows what these are. They're not growing in my garden right now (we just mowed the lawn), but they are waiting to pop out again in a couple of days, lovable little buggers that they are. But they are good for the bees, so we shall just enjoy them just the same. Dandelion, Genus Picturus Freehandus In My Bathroomus:
Okay so maybe I can't grow flowers, but I can DRAW them...that's something, right?
And these are poppy pods. Or at least that's what my friend Carla told me there were when she gave me the piece. And usually, I believe her. Except for when she tells me that she's going to meet me at a certain time, because then I know she's always going to be early. IT FREAKS ME OUT, CARLA. I can't handle over-punctuality! I rely on that extra 10 minutes of late-buffer time to put on deodorant and make sure that my dress isn't tucked into my underpants. Sheesh. Poppy Pods, Genus Carlaus Gaveus Meus Thisus Threeus Weeksus Beforeus Sheus Saidus Sheus Wouldus. Weirdous.
If you've hung on this far - congratulations! And sorry. I know that my brain is such a strange and twisted place. But you know, my nightshade - as deadly as it may be - is helpful. Not only for alleviating the symptoms of an STD (Which is just what everyone wants growing in their yard. A herpes flower! AWESOME.) but also for the wild bees that visit us.
And you know how I feel about bees.
(How's that for the world's weirdest segue?)
I love the bees! And you do too - which I am so excited about. We had many wonderful ideas and entries for the Do Something Good Giveaway...I'm so proud of all of you, and so thankful that you were a part of it. I wish I had goodies to give away to all who entered, but I hope that you'll give yourself mad props for taking the time to think about something important and meaningful. I'm giving you mad props!! And hopefully, it will lead to a continued awareness about the plight of the bees, not only amongst those of you who took the time to enter the giveaway, but amongst all those you come into contact with.
Bee-cause that's how we roll with the Do-Gooding, peeps! It spreads like a killer weed...hmmm. Maybe that's a bad analogy.
And so, without further adieu, I give to you the winner of the V2B/Honey Girl Organics Do Something Good Giveaway. By the powers invested in me by random.org, I am so happy to announce that the lovely reader, Leigh is the winner of her choice of THREE all-natural Honey Girl Organics skincare products! Here was her winning comment:
We don't use any pesticides or herbicides or anything-icides in our yard, and we love our dandelions!YES! That's what I'm talking 'bout! And also - dandelions...I so know what those are. Hooray for you and hooray for me!
Leigh, if you could contact me at mahreen at venividiblogi dot com then I can hook you up with some bee products courtesy of Honey Girl Organics. I can't wait to hear what you choose - I haven't yet tried a product that I didn't like. For reals.
Thank you to EVERYONE who took the time to enter the Do Something Good Giveaway, I hope that it was as fun for you as it was for me, and I hope that you are all showered with rainbows and unicorn sparkles and good karma for the rest of your days. Thanks for doing something GREAT with me...let's do it again soon!
And of course, thank you times one hundred billion trillion to Mark Tanney and the Honey Girl Organics family for making this all possible. Bee (har har, I had to do it just once more) sure to visit their website to check out HGO for yourself or as a gift for others. They are a wonderful home-grown company that is doing all the right things for themselves, the environment, and for you. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you, Honey Girl!