Once again, my husband's voodoo lily has bloomed! And not only that, but a second one growing right beside it, is about to bloom this week, too.
"What's a voodoo lily?" I asked when he first brought it home. "Oh, wait till you see it!" he said. "It's the most unusual plant with one large bloom. It smells like something died--and flies love it!"
Funny thing about marriage...The simplest things can bring about the most volatile response.
"WHAT!?! A flower that stinks?...What do you mean 'it smells like something died?' How could you--You--You can't plant that thing in our yard!!" I exploded (just slightly).
Funny thing about my husband...He's the mild-mannered type...Would have made a fine hermit, living in one of these cozy, abandoned shacks sitting in this lonely ghost town, driving an old, rusty 1940's pick-up truck...All alone, except for a couple big, slobbery dogs, a few stray cats, and his WEIRD plants...
But instead, he married me, had a couple kids, and settled into civilized family life, which for the female half of our married bliss, resembles the English countryside. Imagine: rose bushes lining the walkway, fox gloves, tulips, and hyacinths blooming along the front porch, with irises, daffodils, and snapdragons growing in various spots around the yard; complete with a sculptured rock birdbath, lush green ivy rambling over a rustic wood fence and up our giant tree, plus lots of strawberry plants along the brick pathway in back...
Now picture this dark, ugly, blood-red "flower", looking like a giant open mouth with one lip protruding, and a long, thick, black tongue sticking out from the center. Other names for it are "Dragon Flower" (uh-huh), "Stink Lily" (imagine that), and "Devil's Tongue" (see, I told you). And don't forget the hoards of flies buzzing all around, attracted, of course, by the horrible stench in the air. And my dear husband had the audacity to plant it right among the truly beautiful flowers in front of the house!
Funny thing about my personal gardener (a.k.a. my husband)...He also likes Toad Lillies, which look a whole lot like flowers with a bad case of the measles. They, too, are in the front yard.
Funny thing about my husband's wife...I'm usually quiet and self-controlled, except when somebody does something really stupid or just plain weird--then I have a tendency to lose all sense of composure!
(No joke. It really does smell like rotting flesh. In fact, I try to avoid that side of the yard this time of year.)
What do other plant-lovers think of this flower from the pit of hell? The Master Gardeners at a famous Landmarks Society Art and Garden Center didn't even like the thing, and kept digging it up. But typical of other characters from the dark side, it wouldn't die, and kept re-appearing with each new blooming season.
"Just think," my husband once remarked. "If it wasn't for me...you wouldn't have as much to write about."