Hatred for creeping bellflowers unites gardeners in prose

Gardeners are driven to distraction — and, it turns out, poetry — in their efforts to rid their back alleys, lawns and gardens of the ubiquitous creeping bellflower.

Campanula rapunculoides is the bane of their existence

Creeping bellflower is "more permanent than a tattoo" according to Lyndon Penner

Gardeners are driven to distraction — and, it turns out, poetry — in their efforts to rid their back alleys, lawns and gardens of the ubiquitous creeping bellflower.

After a recent interview on CBC Saskatchewan's The Morning Edition, the show's resident garden expert, Lyndon Penner, put pen to paper. 

Creeping Bellflower

By Lyndon Penner

Deceitful. Full of lies. Green, slithering thing.
"Weed", we say, this polite term
We really mean
strangling monster
insatiable appetite for space
But that takes
Too long
to say.
Our grandparents knew you,
Knew your virtues and indeed, then, virtues they were.
Your hardiness
and your tolerance
For both heat and cold
Your ambivalence about soil
Your neutrality regarding the light.
Like a dull ache they became accustomed to you
You sang false lullabies
with your plum coloured blooms
Distracted them with your vigor
While you rose up
Like the kraken
​To sink
The gardening ship their grandchildren would sail on
To this day, you spew falsehoods
and untruths
Claiming you are something other than you are
"Reliably perennial and long blooming" you say
A harmless gift from Aunt Mary's garden.
I curse thee! Hissing and spitting at you
Like an angry, wet cat,
You shall have no claim on me,
Campanula rapunculoides, for I know your true name.
You shall have no place here
And I will tug your rhizomes from the earth
Until my fingers bleed and I weep with fury
That someone ever gave you a foothold.
I shall make of you a bouquet.
Your severed indigo heads
Bleeding sap
Into a vase on my table
While in the back garden quietly
Like a zombie
The root I missed
Like Medusa

Penner wasn't the only one driven to prose by the purple weed, considering the tweets of listener Jillian Bell (@cenobyte) as she listened to the program.

The rhyming bug spread throughout the day, with this contribution from @yknot05.


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