I'm very sorry dear Camellia
but I just don't like you.
I want to smile when I see you
and tend your soggy blooms
knowing we'll probably spend many more years
living together in total dis-harmony
but try as I might
I just don't like you.
A thoughtful gift (they thought)
I created a special bed for your tender roots
with neither morning sun nor chill wind
in a place free from rabbits and deer
and soil that didn't suit
and thanking me the way you do
you flourished and flowered
and flourished some more. . .
and yet still I don't like you.
I don't like your fat plain green foliage
I don't like your municipal blooms
that look like used toilet tissue when they fade
and you're the only shade of pink
in the whole wide world
that I don't like.
I have no green fingers
I can't even look after a houseplant
or a cactus
or a Christmas tree.
My runner beans were has-beans
roses remain thorns
potted herbs become dried herbs
bulbs refuse to bloom
bay trees without bay leaves
and yet you,
despite drought and deluge
frost and snow
cats and chickens
are my one gardening triumph
the pinnacle of Gertrude Jekyll aspirations
the only living thing left to show for my garden makeover.
in spite of everything you've done,
the generosity you've shown
the bees you've fed
the frogs you've sheltered
and the eyesore corner you've filled