Third Time’s the Charm

Have you noticed? Our label difficulties have lingered on for months and months. As you may recall, in January we received 120,000 labels that neither stuck to our bottles or allowed us to write the name of the Essence on their high gloss finish. Thus began my campaign to get the company to do the right thing and reprint the labels the way we ordered them.

After a number of increasingly emotional phone calls with my account executive, I was moved up the food chain at the label company to a more senior executive who could give me a more professional run around. More wild eyed conversations later, I got a promise out of this executive to re-run the labels.

We agreed upon the material used earlier on our label orders that actually stuck to our bottles and also a matte finish on the labels.

About two weeks ago, 120,000 more labels arrived BUT THEY WERE HIGH GLOSS! We were back to square one.

We now had boxes all over our building with various sorts of reject labels piled high- AND we were continuing to varnish the labels in an only partly successful attempt to keep the writing on them. PLUS we were also gluing each label onto the bottle, dramatically boosting sales on gluesticks at our local office supply store.

We had so many different things going on with so many labels- some needed glue still, some needed glue and rewriting, some needed new labels entirely, some were from the test batch the label company sent before they were willing to fix the problem…… There were so many different issues in play and things were so confusing, we had to put post its in every box indicating what particular problem each box of Essences was suffering from. Here, in fact, is what one section of the shipping room looks like right now- and these aren’t Easter decorations!


Last Friday, more boxes of 120,000 new labels arrived. I was pretty numb by then and could hardly muster enthusiasm to open the boxes. But third time’s the charm and at long last, we have what we asked for!

Matte finish that holds the sharpie ink on label paper that sticks to glass.

Yesterday, each time we used a label that needed neither glue nor varnish we let out a small yelp of delight- and today when Lynn walked in for a day of label writing there was euphoria that we wouldn’t have to throw away a lot of her labels as we did yesterday.

So thank you for your patience with all these peculiar labels we have been using the last few months- We will delight in beginning the switch, at long last, to labels that work!

And just to demonstrate that we too make label mistakes that need to be fixed, here’s a list of some of the funny labels Lynn or one of the rest of us has written when sitting around half listening to conversations while also trying to write the same Flower Essence name a hundred times in a row!

Baby Blue Dogs for Baby Blue Eyes
Toothwart for Toothwort
Maypie for Maple
Patridgement for Patridgeberry
Red Biscus for Red Hibiscus
Rain of Snow for Rain of Gold
Wintermelon for Watermelon
(The wintry weather theme being a true reflection of this climate where we seem to have ten months of winter)
Pink Yarrow from the Cliffs of Dover for Pink Yarrow from the Cliffs of Moher
Bachelor Bottoms for Bachelor Buttons
(Our personal favorite goof second only to the next)
True Wood Squirrel for True Wood Sorrel
Golden Arbor and also Golden Anchor for Golden Armor
Yellow Rose of Taxes for Yellow Rose of Texas
(Its that time of year again)
Cherokee Trail of Years for Cherokee Trail of Tears
Ladies Broomstick for Ladies Bedstraw
(Fitting really)
Watch Your Family for Watch Your Back
(No doubt we were talking about naughty children when that one got written)
Wintergreed for Wintergreen
(Bank bail outs? Executive bonues? The possibilities are endless for what we were talking about when this one got written)

And today, I found a funny typo on the order blanks we just got printed…. Wild Psychic Nut instead of Wild Physic Nut.
(Certainly the shoe fits, just ask the folks at the label company who are hoping they never hear from me again!- but then again, I am hoping I never have to call them again either!)

Spring Banter

In Spring, most of my conversations are addressed to whomever was in charge of the gardens in season past. That would be me. Molly of yesteryear.

I am forever wondering what on earth Molly of yesteryear was thinking when she did this, that, and the other thing. Last week, I wondered why on earth Molly of yesteryear had planted all these daffodils in a place that really needed very short plants. But in this instance, Molly of yesteryear surprised real time Molly with her brilliance, because in this spot she planted miniature daffodils just two or three inches tall and they look adorable.

Sadly, Molly of yesteryear’s forethought is not always so impeccable. For example, today after I planted sweet peas and regular peas in an early burst of vegetable garden fever, I found myself contemplating an enormous mess of crab grass and bearded iris right smack dab in the middle of the vegetable garden.

Several years ago, a gardening friend gave Molly of yesteryear a paper bag full of gorgeous pale purple iris rhizomes. She couldn’t think where to put the iris so she put them “temporarily” in the vegetable garden until permanent quarters could be found. The next season slipped by without her moving these iris and by then, she was enjoying their display of spring color out there among the cabbages. But there were problems in paradise. As Sophie and Emily can attest, way too much time was spent trying to weed this now enormous patch of iris, but to no avail. When real time Molly examined the iris patch this year it was clear that for every piece of crab grass the girls had weeded out, forty more relentless strands of grass remained.

The reason? Molly of yesteryear just slapped those iris rhizomes into the vegetable garden without removing the crab grass infested dirt wrapped around the iris roots and so, what she really planted was crab grass with a side of iris.

Today saw me, real time Molly. wrestling with shovels, pitchforks, enormous clumps of iris, and yards of crab grass roots in a futile effort to sort the mess out. Finally, utterly defeated, I retreated with a modest hundred extremely well cleaned rhizomes and put them in a Flower bed far, far away from that awful scene of crab grass carnage.

Next, when I can bear the thought of the remaining thousand or so rhizomes returning to compost, I will put down cardboard on top of the whole area of the garden and mulch very heavily. Very heavily. And I will try not to think of all the iris that someone made of sterner stuff than myself would battle on into the night to save. Or I will relieve my guilt and find a friend who wants ten paper bags full of crab grass with a side of iris and who wants to dig this confection up herself!


In the meantime, to take our thoughts of the carnage in the vegetable garden, here is a picture of diminutive yet striking Iris Reticulata, a gorgeous early spring beauty with no interest in cosying up with any crab grass.