A la Mode: A lovely flower of soft apricot tipped in pristine white, it is a formal decorative in the B category, with a four-foot bush. Photo by Susan Safford
My elders always corrected me when I used the verb "to hate." "No dear, not 'hate'- we say 'dislike intensely'." I was going to say it baldly, disobediently, that I hate it when the dahlias are cut down by frost. But that is over the top; I simply dislike it intensely when this happens. I hate, I mean dislike intensely, losing my eye candy. I dislike intensely the loss of an endless supply of sumptuous bouquets looking as if they had stepped out of a Flemish painting. I dislike intensely the empty spot in my vegetable garden where for months there has been a riot of clashing colors, all somehow complementary nonetheless. I dislike intensely finding the untagged, orphan no-names that evade my attempts to ID them. I dislike having not quite enough room to store them in the cellar, and my husband's exasperated exclamations about getting rid of stuff.