June 24, 2007

· Misc · Personal


Because I have no talent for or interest in it, I have been putting off dealing with my garden—or yard, as we say in America. Although the landscaping is now on the domestic agenda, it may have been a serious error to wait so long. Because, over the past few months, this … thing … has grown up with astonishing rapidity by the side of my house, next to the A/C unit. It has become known as The Triffid. It is now about ten feet tall. Here’s a set of pictures showing its leaves and little tubular yellow flowers in more detail. It has recently acquired a little brother a few feet away.

For those of you who don’t know, I live in Tucson. Given how little water we have falling out of the sky around here, it disturbs me that anything so ugly could grow quite so big, quite so fast. (I feel the same way about Phoenix.) My question to the more horticulturally informed amongst you is, What the hell is it? And when the answer is, inevitably, “Giganticus Weedus Noxiensis,” tell me what combination of axe, chemicals and Wagner will be required to get rid of it.

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I am Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m also affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Read a brief overview of my work or my Curriculum Vitae.



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