Grumpy Fesses Up

July 20, 2014 | By | Comments (9)
Grumpy Fesses Up

Photo: EWTN

Faithful readers, I must tell you something you never expected to hear. I failed you. Yes. The outlandishly responsible Grump, who puts your interest first and foremost, misled you in a previous column.  I cannot expect forgiveness. I can only humble myself as no one else has done before and face your withering scorn.

My Shameful Crime

Grumpy Fesses up

A beautifully styled photo of’ Tristan’ strawberry obviously taken in Heaven. Photo: Park Seed

Grumpy is always seeking to bring you information from the cutting-edge to make your gardening experience as wise and rewarding as possible. So back in February, in a column titled “Wow, What A Strawberry!”, I effusively touted a new strawberry that combined beautiful red flowers with tasty fruit, called ‘Tristan.’

In retrospect, I should have titled the column, “Wow, What A Waste!”

I based that original column on the breeder’s description supplemented by positive reports from some well-respected plant trials. That was my sin. I should have grown the plant myself first, before giving into the temptation to give credence to others. Based on that description, I told you the plant does not produce runners. It does. I gave you the impression that it was smothered with pretty flowers all summer. Here is what it looks like this morning in my Grow-Box.

Grumpy Fesses Up

Photo: Steve Bender

Worst of all, I told you the gherkin-shaped berries were delicious. This might be true if you had never tasted real strawberries before. I have. And my reaction to eating one of these is:

Grumpy Fesses Up

Photo: Steve Bender

Meh. They taste just like they look.

Grumpy’s Penance
How shall I pay for my appalling breach of your trust? Shall I be sentenced to eternity in the Atlanta airport? (Which, in reality, is anything longer than a minute.) Shall I have to brush Nancy Grace‘s teeth? All 300 of them? Shall I fall on my samurai sword?

Grumpy fesses Up

Photo: Toranaga

In almost every circumstance, that would be the right thing to do. But that would only compound my crime. Because that act would forever deny you my brilliance. It would be rubbing salt in the wound.

So no — I shall not make you pay twice. And I assure you that this blunder will never happen again. False hype will be rewarded with penalties most severe. As the Klingons say:

Grumpy Fesses Up

Photo: rcgroups


  1. Steve Bender

    Have I been offensive again??? Then I have succeeded!

    July 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm
  2. Bennie

    The grumpy pic of the Klingon is very offensive.

    July 29, 2014 at 9:54 am
  3. Kathryn Games

    There, there now…don’t feel too bad. I bought 3 plants, (actually bought 6 and gave 3 to my daughter), planted them in a hanging basket near our swing and have thoroughly enjoyed it all summer. Of course it’s not quite as beautiful as the Park Seed photo but still pretty and the birds have just loved the strawberries!

    July 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm
  4. Dea

    Lori, regarding your rose with Rosette disease, get rid of it fast! That’s a virus and very contagious via the mites that travel passively through the air (windborne). Grub that thing out root and branch — don’t leave anything. And treat all the soil around it with a good miticide (Sevin will work pretty well). And whatever you do, don’t plant any roses near that area for at least a year. Knockout roses seem to be really susceptible to this disease, so your antiques may be okay. And if your rose is five or six years old and was an older shrub when you planted it, it may have come into your garden already infected. It can take up to five or six years to kill an older plant. Good luck to you!

    July 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm
  5. Dea

    Oh, well, live and learn, I always say… At the worst, you got some pretty nice green stuff on your patio, so not such a loss. I am NOT an “edible plant” gardener. My green thumb turns bright purple when it comes to growing anything that might even remotely be edible, and when I did have some success with a small rosemary bush, our lawn service whacked it down with a weed eater (I also whacked HIM down when I found out about it, but too late… my reputation with edibles is intact). But I have seen in other people’s gardens (OPGs) that when a plant has a nice flush of flowers, suitable for picking and displaying, its fruit isn’t always so satisfactory. I recommend antique roses as a suitable substitute, since they’re beautiful and fragrant, and if you get the “hippy” ones, provide a fruit that makes a great tea. Oh, and good luck with some old-fashioned strawberries next summer.

    July 21, 2014 at 9:19 pm
  6. Jan Jones

    I love the Grumpy pic of Mother Angelica, a deceased shame-calling minor TV personality.
    Steve, if you ever get tired of being the Grumpy Gardener–you’d be great as a comedian. So funny!

    July 21, 2014 at 8:53 pm
  7. Lori

    You may redeem yourself by telling me that I do not have to remove a six year old rose bush that has Rose Rosette Disease on it. *laugh* Granted, it is a very common rose, and I have other roses that are antique roses which I will be seriously upset if they get the stinking stuff. So, I will just suck it up, but if you can tell me how to get rid of it besides digging it up, I will be forever grateful!

    July 21, 2014 at 10:09 am
  8. Mary Early

    The grumpy pic of the nun is very offensive

    July 21, 2014 at 9:31 am
  9. Carolyn Choi

    Well I’ll be. An honest Journalist, how refreshing. We forgive you this time but like the Klingon proverb says, fool me twice, prepare to die !

    July 21, 2014 at 5:35 am

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