Posts Tagged ‘topiaries’

What the Topiaries Told: Tales of the Garden Gomorrah

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

By Tiber

Our head gardener Nestor’s marriage has fallen apart. Dad doesn’t always know everything about the personal lives of the people who work for him but this was one episode everybody heard about.

Nestor went home early one day last week and joined his wife, who was napping in bed. Unfortunately, someone else had also been “napping” with her and, in one of the worst escapes ever, was still on the bed, hiding in the rolled-up comforter at the foot of it.

Nestor got into bed too to kiss his wife and his foot slid underneath this same comforter.

With said foot about to slam a sensitive area, the man instinctively grabbed Nestor’s toe. Since Nestor had once accidentally transported a garden snake home in his pants, he panicked and tried to kick the comforter onto the floor.

Most snakes – thankfully – don’t weigh 180 lbs. however, so Nestor halted instantly and then he began pounding the comforter with a table lamp.

The other man may have gone to work with a broken bone but Nestor came here the next day with a broken heart.

My mother saw the topiaries and almost collapsed..

They had all been re-cut. They had really been re-cut. We now had panda on parakeet, bear booty-calling bat, turtle tapping tiger. It was garden Gomorrah.

Dad said Nestor’s broken marriage or no, we couldn’t have this. It would upset the kids. Hell, it disturbed him.

So Nestor reshaped the topiaries back to a smaller version of what they’d been before – except for one. Erin texted me that Nestor may not be grieving as much now but instead is moving into the anger phase which, technically, is probably healthier. 

Still, he’s going to have to re-cut his most recent topiary handiwork too. Dad was walking the grounds and he actually ducked – because now the giraffe appears to be peering over the garden wall. Not only that, but now he’s wielding a large ax.

The Maypole Dance…Triplets running amok

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

By Tiber

We’re finally getting past a hard winter here and the flowers and the topiaries are looking great. Of course, that’s Nestor the gardener’s handiwork because in spite of the money shortage, Dad hasn’t let him go. I think Mrs. Brunty’s idea has worked. As I wrote about in January 2010 in “Is that Plant Staring at Me?,”  she told Nestor to trim one of the topiaries to look like Dad’s face. Dad still hasn’t caught on that he‘s looking at himself. He’s just decided that Nestor is a genius, who has created one of the most beautiful things on the property.

Anyway, I knew spring was definitely here, when I surveyed the view from the third-floor balcony. There was brilliant blue sky. There were green plants in bloom. There was a mummy on a stick. There were birds in the-wait. Go back.


There was a mummy on a stick?!? What the hell was that? We hadn’t had a mummy on a stick in the yard before. And I didn’t think we’d been planning on getting one.

Then I heard a blood-chilling sound. I froze. The sound could only be described as demons, ripping out their fingernails and jamming them into the foreheads. Ah. That meant that the triplets were outside, playing and enjoying themselves. And the triplets in the vicinity meant there was a good chance they had something to do with the mummy.

Suddenly, a living human head tried to thrust itself out of the wrappings on the pole and I realized, that’s no mummy, that’s my sister. I hurried downstairs to help get her out.

I quickly saw what had happened. To herald the arrival of spring, Iris Nell had built a maypole for the kids and taught them how to dance round and round it, pulling on the streamers. Boredom set in quickly, though, and I’m sure it wasn’t hard for the triplets to get my sister to climb up the pole. It’s pretty easy to get her to do anything once you know her.

Example: “Hey, look, Aunt Iris Nell! There’s a bug up there! And I think it‘s in trouble!”

So Iris Nell climbed the pole and the triplets then sped round and round with the streamers until she was helplessly wrapped up like a mummy on a stick.

“How could you let this happen?,” I sighed and she whipped out her defense.

“I called out the second they started! I yelled over and over again, “Mayday, Mayday! Mayday!” but not one person came to my rescue!”

I had to point out to my sister that since it was May Day, this probably had the same effect as needing help on Christmas Day and yelling out “Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! Christmas!” Nobody’s going to rescue you. They’re just going to think you’re an idiot who enjoys a holiday a little too much.

Is that plant staring at me?

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

By Tiber

It‘s been said, that there are certain people, who, just by walking into a room, make everybody else feel better. My parents‘ housekeeper, Mrs. Brunty, is one of those people. Even though she‘s white and a woman, in a movie, she’d be played by Morgan Freeman.

My father may think he runs things around here but we all know it‘s really Mrs. Brunty.

And now, she has succeeded with an idea to keep part of the staff employed, even during Dad’s financial setbacks, by convincing Nestor, the head gardener, to recut one of his prized topiaries into the shape of Dad’s head. Mrs. Brunty figured Dad probably wouldn’t recognize his face in a topiary at all but on a subconscious level, he’d just really like Nestor’s work. And this turned out to be true, once they got past an initial misunderstanding.

“I know it’s cold out there but I have an idea for you, Nestor, about recutting your toilet bowl brush topiary.” Nestor, understandably, looked momentarily blank.

“…Uh…do you mean my giraffe?”

“…Oh! Well, that does make more sense. Yes! Your very attractive giraffe.” Mrs. Brunty then went on to explain her plan and Nestor, not having any better ideas, went ahead and trimmed down the topiary to look like Dad’s head.

And it worked. Dad came by and was instantly hooked.

“Nestor! This new topiary is great!” I like this one much better than your old toilet bowl brush.”

Nestor sighed, “That was a giraffe, sir.”

“Oh!…Well, that does make more sense. Anyway, this one is much more handsome! I don’t even know what it is. I just like it!…For some reason, it makes me feel good!  I’ve got to hand it to you guys. You’re working harder now than ever.”

“Thank you, sir,” Nestor beamed.

And when Dad wandered off, Nestor knew that his job is safe for now.