Monday, June 10, 2013

Judge and Jury

I'm back!

If you recall, I posted that, along with all the company I was expecting, I had also been summoned for jury duty.  I met my obligation and went to the courthouse on the appointed date.  Much to my surprise, I was chosen to serve as a juror.

It is a serious responsibility to be a juror, knowing that someone's life (or at least a portion of their life) is in your hands.  We had to look back to the past, and try to decide if there was sufficient evidence to convict.  Before we were presented with the evidence, I just kept thinking of how terrible it would be if we were to make the wrong decision.  It would be truly criminal if we were to find the defendant guilt if he actually wasn't.  At the same time, if he were actually guilty, I was concerned about him being set free to possibly do the same thing again.  Being a juror weighed heavily on my mind, as it should have.

After all the evidence was presented, and a vote was taken, I was relieved to find that each of us had made the same decision. We found the defendant not guilty.

I have always been a bit cynical of our justice system.  Being a juror, however, has made me much more proud of our judicial system.  It's not perfect by any means, but being tried in front of others rather than having a dictatorship or committee decide one's fate is something we as Americans should be proud of.


Donna at Gardens Eye View asks us to look forward in her quarterly Seasonal Celebrations, while Beth at Plant Postings asks us to look back in her quarterly Lessons Learned.  In both of these, I have realized that I am the sole judge and juror of my garden.  I am the one that decides my garden's fate.  I am the dictator.

Sometimes, those decisions are easy.  But sometimes, they are extremely hard to render.


The beautiful blooms of the lilies are my Seasonal Celebration.  They have already started blooming in my garden.  It is a thrill each summer to see the lilies in full bloom.


Of all the lilies I have, the pure white Casa Blanca lilies are the ones that are, to me, the most stunning.  Tall and strong, they reach up to over 5 ft tall.  Their thick stems hold up to the winds and storms that move quickly through this area.  Their white, innocent blooms pop in my colorful garden.


Even the company I've had recently gasped one night when they looked out the windows over the garden, and the white lilies were glowing in the moonlight.  In those few seconds, a decision was made, and I ordered another 50 more bulbs.


So, what is the Lesson Learned?  Well, I have two Chinese indigos (indigofera decora).  They are beautiful plants, and I knew when I planted them that they had a tendency to sucker.  I thought they had plenty of room to spread out where I planted them.  Obviously, their idea of plenty of room and my idea of plenty of room are two different things.  They are suckering all over the place, and have outgrown their allotted space.  They are encroaching on the neighboring plants.  As pretty as they are, and as hard as it is to come to this decision, they need to be removed.  If they are not, the other plants will suffer and eventually die.

Past the spirea, past the rose,
the indigofera (with its small, pink blooms) is beautiful,
but not a nice neighbor.

I have a hard time removing plants.  And yet, I know that, in order to have a garden that is beautiful to me, I must remove plants from time to time.  It is a hard lesson for me, and one I seem to have to re-learn every year.  I must be strong.  I must remove these plants.  They are guilty only of doing what they naturally do, but I know that they can not be allowed to stay.  I have been agonizing over this decision for months, but I know what the final determination will be.

I'm celebrating the lilies in my garden, and I've realized that I want more.  But the decision of removing the Chinese indigo has been a hard lesson to learn.  Still, I know that they must go.

Unfortunately, I now have the unpleasant task of being the executioner, too.



71 comments:

  1. Wow, this really resonates with me, Holley. I also have trouble pulling out plants--except for a few that are extremely invasive. Perfect description of the responsibility and privilege of being on a jury. I remember that from years ago. Thanks for joining in the memes!

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    1. I always think I'm going to be ruthless and pull out plants, but actually doing it takes me years while I agonize over it. I had planned to pull these out before I posted, but realized that it will probably take me a couple more years before I actually do the dirty deed!

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  2. Nice to see you back posting and glad your jury experience was a positive one.

    It's been a great year for lilies; LA hybrids perform better for me and we're about to see the best Orienpet I grow. Your Indigofera performs like my Japanese Spirea, lovely but suckering.

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    1. I don't have all the different types of lilies. I was unsure of what grows well here, and just got these on a whim. They have been great, but I would love to give some other types a try, too.

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  3. Hi Holley! I know what I know about American justice system only from what I've learn in movies and yet I didn't get the difference between jury and juror, is it the person who 'manage' the jury? Anyway I think it's a good way to get people closer to something that in other Countries (mine for instance) is seen like some kind of closed institution. Meanwhile I'm not sure if I'd like to be nominee on a jury and have, as you said, someone else's destiny under my inexpert influence.
    Those white lilies popping up aroung your garden are stunning, I'm glad you got more and I can't imagine the good scent you should have.
    Why don't you keep the indigofera into one large semi-buried pot? It could prevent spreading, although not self seeding...

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    1. What a fabulous idea! I hadn't thought of a pot! Thanks for the suggestion! And about the difference between jury and juror - juror is one person, while jury is the entire group of jurors. Hope that helps! I know nothing about other countries' justice systems, but I bet that would be a fascinating subject to study.

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  4. Oh, I have trouble pulling out plants too. I have a rogue red poppy in my garden that shouldn't be there, yet I'm still staring at it, worrying about moving it. Your lilies are beautiful, I can see why you'd want more of them.

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    1. I can imagine just one red poppy. That could be a bit frustrating. Maybe it will reseed so you will have lots of red poppies!

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  5. So hard when I have to remove perfectly good plants that fit in their natural habitat but with me are invasive or just not performing. This lilies are stunners. I don't think I ever planted any in my white garden because the deer love them, but I could if I kept them sprayed. You have given me some inspiration of what to plant once the iris are done. Thanks for linking in!!

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    1. Oh, you need some of these white lilies in your garden! How perfect they would be in a white garden.

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  6. I have limited space for roses, so if one is not performing or is not to my liking, out it goes! Now, I have given them new homes with a gardening friend, so I get to visit them.

    At least with plants, we can always find a new one to fall in love with!

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    1. Oh, maybe I just need a friend to give my bad plants to! ;) And I've already started considering what I will put in its place! :)

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  7. I think you would be a good juror. If there is any doubt about guilt, the person must not be found guilty, to avoid innocent people being locked up, what a horror that would be. I hadn't thought about a gardener making those tough decisions but you are right. I grow lots of lilies too, almost all in pots.

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    1. I have heard of cases where innocent people went to prison, and I can not imagine the nightmare they must have lived, and I'm certain there are other cases, too. You are right - it is good to remember that there should be no doubt if there is a conviction.

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  8. Those lilies are beauties. Perhaps when I have deer proof garden which is actually in the works this summer.

    Few plants grow so well as to need removal in my area that I think I would have a very hard time taking them out.

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    1. I have these lilies where the deer do not dare to tread, but I didn't realize that deer loved them so! Unfortunately, I have recently planted some where they actually might get eaten! Oops! I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

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  9. Holley, now you have your jury experience! and in your garden only you can decide what and where will grow.
    Every fall I move my plants, bushes from one place to another, where I think they will be better.
    Have a nice week!

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    1. I used to move my plants around a lot, but now they are getting large, and I worry more about moving some of them. But I think all gardeners do a little "re-arranging" in the garden from time to time!

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  10. Your lilies are lovely. I planted Casa Blanca, Regal Lilies, and a Tiger Lily this year. I'm still waiting for the Casa Blancas to bloom. I love the fragrance of lilies and hope to have more next year. As far as removing plants, sometimes I even have a hard time removing the annuals that have bloomed!

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    1. I'm surprised my Casa Blancas bloomed before yours. I have always wanted to plant some tiger lilies - maybe I'll give them a try!

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  11. Your lilies appear to be several weeks ahead of mine - they look beautiful! I can empathize with the angst about pulling out a plant that's only doing what it's born to do - I had that experience with mint in my vegetable garden. I put a few pieces in a pot to assuage my guilt about pulling it out of a raised planter (where it had been introduced by a prior owner). Now if have it in a pot and, still, in the raised planter...

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    1. Oh, no! Thankfully, I heard of mint's "qualities" before ever introducing it into my garden!

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  12. Welcome back Holley :) we are all stewards of our own garden and some decisions that needs to be made are not easy, especially if it involves 'execution'. Breathe deeply and just do it, your garden will thank you for it

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    1. I am not really sure why I have such a hard time getting rid of some plants. They cause me dismay every time I see them, and it would really be easier for me just to get rid of them and be happy in my garden!

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  13. Welcome back! I have been pondering the grubbing out process recently, because I have realised that I am quite blasé about recommending that clients should remove plants which are not pulling their weight or going for world domination starting in their back garden, but when it comes to my own patch, it can take forever for me to justify the decision. I am relieved to find that I am not alone in being a bit of a ditherer.

    Well done on giving your time to jury service - what a responsibility.

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    1. A ditherer - that's exactly what I am! I think it would help if we had a "jury" to decide when plants should go!

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  14. This was great Holley. I appreciate the real world application to gardening. One of the things I like best about gardening is that, like you, I get to decide what works and what doesn't work (which plant is innocent and which is guilty). What makes gardening better than jury duty though is that if we make a mistake, we only cost ourselves.

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    1. In a way, we are judging ourselves, and our decision to plant that particular plant. Perhaps that's one reason I hate to decide to get rid of something!

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  15. I think you'll forget about the removal part when those new lilies bloom.

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    1. I think you are absolutely correct! :)

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  16. In grad school, we discussed the judicial system in statistics of all places...believe it or not I went to law school as well....our system is designed to ...better to let a guilty man go free than an innocent man be convicted.... I agree with this...and the system also has ...the "reasonable doubt" and the "beyond a shadow of a doubt" standard as well...all that being said, I have seen scenarios...or better yet, witnessed scenarios where if it were put to court I would be inclined to vote one way, but in witnessing it, it was obvious to vote another...point is, unbiased, critical reasonable judgement is at stake....I'm certain you feel well with your vote.

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    1. I also agree that the balance should be toward finding someone not guilty. I made up my mind with the evidence presented, and I felt very good about my vote. However, I felt a lot better after I found out that the other jurors voted the same way!

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  17. Ha! You are so right about having to make those tough decisions in the garden! I have recently just had to remove my ajuga...it was spreading and it was making me nervous! I'm glad you got through your jury duty. Your lilies are BEAUTIFUL!!!! WOW!!! Love the white!

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    1. The white really glows. They are so beautiful in the moonlight. I just couldn't resist adding some more!

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  18. Welcome back... Sounds like you had an interesting couple of weeks... I was chosen for a jury once ---and it was a very interesting experience, just like yours. The sad thing with our justice system is that there is always so much evidence which cannot be presented to the jury. You have to vote by what you hear in court... Mistakes are made for sure ---but it is what it is.

    Love your lilies. Ours are just beginning to bloom here. Our roses are blooming like crazy now. Check out my blog today.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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    1. Yes, there are flaws in our justice system, but I was impressed with the reason and consideration each of the jurors gave in their decision. Although I wouldn't want to serve very often. It was nerve wracking to me - such a huge responsibility!

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  19. hey.....could u please check my blog(a post in which i posted pics of flowers that i doubt are lilies).....just wanna know their names......since u seem like u r a flower expert help me with the flower names in my post.....i grow tham and i still don't know their names.....what a shame!right?

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    1. Meghana, I grow lots of flowers that I don't know their names, either. The important thing is the joy they bring. :)

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  20. Your Lilies are lovely. Mine are all budded out and I expect the blooms to open any day now, at least on my normal sized ones.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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  21. Your Lilies are lovely. Mine are all budded out and I expect the blooms to open any day now, at least on my normal sized ones.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

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    1. They are so pretty, and the anticipation is just part of the charm!

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  22. Welcome back! I'm also struggling with plant removal. I should just do it and be done but instead, when I finally decide that the love affair is over with a plant, I carefully remove it so that it can be given away. Problem is that now I have a collection of plants not yet potted sitting around growing sideways out of the clumps of soil that they came out of the ground with. Yikes! I should just throw them away.

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    1. It's hard to kill something that's living - even if it doesn't scream. ;) I hope you find new homes for all your 'rejects' soon!

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  23. Oh my, issues of guilt and innocence in the garden and you are the judge! I'm glad to hear your real jury duty was rewarding and enlightening. Now jury duty in the garden calls, and you have to make those tough decisions about the fate of plants!

    The lilies really are so beautiful.

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    1. I should look at my garden a little more objectively, I think. Maybe then I could look at the "evidence" without sentiment, and make it easier for me to get rid of the plants I need to.

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  24. I always love the way that you tie the daily events in your life to what is happening in the garden. Like you, the responsibility of finding myself on a jury would weigh on me. You do hold a person's life in your hands even if the decision is not life or death. Being sent to jail would be life altering.
    I always feel guilty when I do a plant in, but sometimes you just have to do it. The lilies are beautiful and aren't as likely to cause you any grief.

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    1. Guilty. That's exactly how I feel when I'm thinking about digging up a plant. I guess that's why I put it off for so long!

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  25. You made the right decision! My 'Casa Blanca' lilies didn't make it through the winter and I am heartbroken.

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    1. I would be heartbroken, too. They are something I look forward to all year long!

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  26. Love lilies - mine are still in bud. White has to be the best choice for a lily it shows the stamens up so well, and reminds me of so many wonderful paintings where it is frequently used. My favourite white lily is the "Regale" which the pre-raphalite brotherhood used in their paintings.
    I used to be a Magistrate, and it is important to take a structured and balanced view when making decisions about the cases in front of you. It is also wise to leave the court cases you have heard behind the court doors and not take them home with you.

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    1. Oh, thanks for the information about Regale. I am going to have to add some of those to my garden. And that is good advice about not taking the case home with you. Thankfully, the court case I served on lasted only a few days. I can't imagine having to serve on a long case, or like you, being a magistrate.

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  27. Interesting that I am sitting in a jury lounge now as I opened up this post to read! I don't know if I will be on a jury panel but it is quite the responsibility. Meanwhile, while I wait to be called I can enjoy reading your blog!

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    1. Oh, my - it seems a lot of us have been called to jury duty lately! If you get on the jury, I hope you have sufficient evidence (or lack thereof) to make up your mind without any doubt.

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  28. Those are gorgeous lilies! Is their fragrance equally lovely?

    I am sure that you are a very wise and just judge, Holly! Your garden is certainly a living testament to that!

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    1. My nose doesn't detect much of a scent, but I have heard other people rave about their fabulous fragrance, so I think it's just me. Maybe I should bring some in, and I would be able to smell them better.

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  29. Your lilies are so beautiful!! You and I are exactly alike when it comes to pulling out plants...it's so difficult to do! But, I must remember that it's for the good of the garden!

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    1. I need to remember that, too. I actually did pull a couple yesterday - plants that had been eyesores for many years. It's amazing how much better those spots look now, too!

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  30. Congratulations on your jury duty. I hope I will never be called as I would hate it so much -- I have all these idealistic views that people become bad because of us the society; so I will have hard time on doing all these. I also find it extremely cruel for such long jail term, and I am against death penalty. So, jury duty will be awful for me :-(. My lilies are blooming too and your white lily look so pure and delicate. Beautiful.

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    1. Maybe you are exactly what a jury would need. After all, one is innocent until *proven* guilty. :)

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  31. I am the judge, jury, dictator and executioner in my garden too, most of the time it is great, no lengthy debates, just get on with it, but sometimes I would really like to have someone to discuss certain issues with. It can be a lonely job being a gardener and I find that blogging has somewhat filled a hole that way, I have learned so much from what other people write!

    Great to see your lilies in full flower, we are a bit behind here in London, no surprise there….my oriental lilies won’t flower for several weeks.

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    1. It has been nice to find other bloggers/gardeners that have the same issues/problems/concerns and love for their garden. I like your idea of no lengthy debates. I need to stop debating with myself! :)

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  32. hi holley, such an interesting comparison between jury duty and the garden. There's not really guilt in the garden except maybe the very weedy. So it's quite arbitrary, like in a dictatorship. Being a garden dictator does create anxiety at times, I find, although I don't mind removing plants to make way for others. I seem to be in a minority here, maybe I'm a garden brute?!!?!

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    1. I think you are just a better dictator! I need to learn how to enjoy absolute power! :)

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  33. Planting beautiful plants is the easy bit. Being prepared to manage the garden, which inevitably means getting rid of things, is much harder. But I am sure you will be happy once you have done the deed - and even happier when you have planted those new lily bulbs!

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    1. Janet, you are so right. We have to manage what we have planted. Wise words!

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  34. Holley - Rather than throwing a plant out, please consider sharing your "executed" plants on Craigslist's FREE section. You do not have to interact with strangers if you don't want. List it as a "curb alert" and put the plants out at the curb in an empty landscaper pot (to make it obvious what the free item is). When it has been picked up, delete your Craigslist ad. I am on a very tight budget and have gotten free plants and bamboo this way.

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    1. Smart suggestion! I like that I can just set them out on the curb for another plant lover! Thanks! :)

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  35. I have a hard time removing plants as well. I think you are making the wise decision for the sake of your garden. And I am so glad you feel good about your jury experience. It can be a difficult task, but you all seem to have worked it out for the best.

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    1. I need to remember that removing plants is good for the garden, even though it hurts now!

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  36. It's been a long time since I've been called to jury duty, but it's an experience that everyone should have. I agree, it makes you appreciate our democracy and system of justice so much more. Like you, though, I have a hard time being an executioner in my garden--I've pulled out a few thugs, but not nearly enough. Love the Casablancas!

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  37. Gorgeous white lilies. They were in my wedding bouquet along with white roses. :)

    Visiting from Donna's meme.

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