17 November 2011


I have a thing for shrubbery.

It may have something to do with Monty Python:

ARTHUR: Well, what is it you want?
HEAD KNIGHT: We want... a shrubbery!
[dramatic chord]
ARTHUR: A what?
ARTHUR and PARTY: Oh, ow!
ARTHUR: Please, please! No more! We shall find a shrubbery.
HEAD KNIGHT: You must return here with a shrubbery or else you will never pass through this wood alive!
ARTHUR: O Knights of Nee, you are just and fair, and we will return
with a shrubbery.
HEAD KNIGHT: One that looks nice.
ARTHUR: Of course.
HEAD KNIGHT: And not too expensive.
HEAD KNIGHTS: Now... go!

Then again, it could be my mother. She once went to her favorite garden supply place, and encountered a woman wandering around the azalea department shrieking "where are your bushes?" - presumably not recognizing azaleas as bushes. Or shrubbery. "Where are your bushes?" is one of those lines now in the family lexicon.

Or perhaps it's an Edward Gorey thing.

On the shore a bat, or possibly an umbrella,
disengaged itself from the shrubbery,
causing those nearby to recollect the miseries of childhood.

In any case, I found myself highlighting a sentence in the Wilkie Collins book* I'm reading.

He drifted away aimlessly in the direction of the shrubbery.

And when you highlight things on the Kindle, other people can see it via "popular highlights". So will the next person to read said Wilkie Collins encounter my shrubbery highlight? I do hope so.

Incidentally, shrubbery is a collective, a plurality of shrubs, but A shrubbery is a place, a garden border thickly shrub-planted.

Bring me a shrubbery!

*It's called No Name, and I got it as a free Kindle download. Free! I do love it when things go out of copyright. And I'm enjoying it, and I can't remember why I looked for it in the first place. Did you tell me to read it?


Carol Steel said...

Love this one!

Rima said...

You learn something new every day.

I'm going to try to use "a shrubbery" in a sentence as soon as I possibly can.

InTheFastLane said...

We use "shrubbery" frequently around here. You can blame Monty Python in my family's case.

Also, Dash has a music teacher at school, who was named Ms. Plant. And then she got married and her named changed to Mrs. Flowers. Seriously. At least I think...I can never remember which way her named changed and it could be the other way around, so I just refer to her as Mrs. Shrubbery. It totally works.

mayberry said...

Whoa. I had no idea!

FreshHell said...

Oh, how I love Edward Gorey.

painted maypole said...

i believe it is spelled "Nii" (watched it with the subtitles to help my British accent challenged friend. That section was fascinating)

S said...

Hie thee to a shrubbery!

MDTaz said...

This I love and will incorporate into our family lexicon: but where are your bushes?