Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Category

Hello, everyone – I hope this finds you all happy and healthy and ready for Spring. This past Thursday marks the end of one of my two science classes this semester. It was a class condensed into half a semester and, although it was not a difficult class for me, I’m glad to finally have a little bit of wiggle room in my schedule and taking that final was a load off my mind, literally.

Also, I seem to have made it past the most difficult part of my biology class. The first half of this semester felt like trying to run through pea soup. Today, it’s rainy and windy and flowers are blooming…all those little signs of Spring are recharging my batteries and the world feels less oppressive and serious.

There haven’t been many opportunities to get outside with my camera, so I’ve been clicking with my iPhone on the run, which is the source of all the pictures I’m sharing today. The tulips are especially exciting because I planted them this winter just so I would see them during the semester when I don’t have time to garden. Turns out, I did the right thing and I’d like to thank myself for the forethought. Thank you, self!

One of the most wonderful things that happened turned out to be a very quiet personal moment in the middle of a difficult biology exam last week. We have been mired in chemistry for the last few weeks and I was getting lost in the details and hadn’t been outside in what seemed like forever. I missed gardening and it felt like I would have my nose in a textbook forever and ever…So one of the test questions was to write out in great detail the process of photosynthesis, paying special attention to the part when energy from the sun is transformed into chemical energy in a plant. I took a deep breath and began….”A photon of light from the sun is captured by a complex of light-absorbing pigments embedded in the thylakoid membrane of a chloroplast located in the cell of a leaf.” Somewhere in the middle of writing that sentence, I heard the poetry. I suddenly remembered why I was there in the first place and what all the work was for. The rest of the answer flowed out of me like the lyrics to a favorite song. It was one of the happiest moments EVER! The section on photosynthesis is over and we’re moving on to genetics, but that brief moment of deep and nerdy bliss in the middle of a test was all it took to put the fragments of ‘me’ back into a cohesive whole. It was a good day. I came home and planted seeds to celebrate and while I was out there, I took the following photo…a million photons of light showering my tulips with magic.


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The past two weeks have been super extra busy and exciting. Learning an extensive science vocabulary and settling into a new semester has eaten up my free time (happily so) and this weekend is a full working weekend. Whenever people get excited about the 4th of July or Labor Day holidays – or most ‘national’ holidays, I tend to cringe inside. These are never great holidays for me since they fall during the busiest time of the month for my business. If I do choose to take the time off completely, things do not go well in the long run. We’ve learned to just bite the bullet and work through, enjoying the holiday as much as we can but keeping our I’s dotted and T’s crossed. Mostly I don’t mind because we take our time off elsewhere and it’s part of being self-employed. Sometimes however, it makes me a little grumpy…like this morning. So, before hitting the office, I went out to water a few plants and readjust my attitude in the garden and soak up a bit of the morning Sun. Then I saw it – the loveliest flower blooming under the bedroom window. I didn’t know it was growing and I hadn’t known it was blooming and I don’t remember planting it. A complete surprise gift from the garden just in time to get my attitude back on track. It’s a Gladiolus callianthus and one of those things I buried and forgot. I’m so glad I did.

Gladiolus callianthus - September 2011

The more I looked at it, the more interesting it was. Like how the topmost petal has no color when the other petals do.

Or the fact that the purple coloring is so dark it looks brown, and the anthers are HUGE.

I hope it cheers you up as much as it did me. Whatever you’re doing this holiday weekend, be safe and have as much fun as you can. Summer is on her way out and, before you know it, we’ll be discussing holidays involving witches and goblins, turkeys and fires in the fireplace. I’m looking forward to Fall, but I always do that right about now.

Ok, time for me to get back to my job before Tom catches on to the fact that he’s over there working hard on our financial reports and I’m over here playing with pictures of flowers….Happy Labor Day!

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Well, let me just say I’ve been having a wonderful time lately and haven’t had the opportunity to post. I even skipped the Tuesday’s Muse post this week because She and I were busy playing elsewhere. Things are coming along swimmingly and the garden is thriving in the mid-summer heat. We just got back from a lovely weekend in San Francisco as well. There will be lots of photos of plants to post from our visit. I’ve also been ruminating on some serious cleaning out and editing in my life, house, garden, and this website. Everything is chaos and there is too much STUFF. So, I’ve been busy busy busy. Perhaps this weekend I’ll have a good post ready, as soon as I can focus on one single thing instead of 800 as I’m doing now. I’ve learned to indulge myself in the ‘too many irons in the fire’ phase because eventually it all comes around to making sense. But not yet. In the meantime please enjoy this hot steamy photo taken in San Francisco at the Conservatory of Flowers where Terri and Emily took us for an awesome tour…more on that later…

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers - Wicked Plants Exhibition - July 2011

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Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability. ~ Sam Keen

Ophelia by John William Waterhouse

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Well, Happy Summer Solstice! It’s warm outside, the day is long, Sun is shining, and plants are growing. The garden was left alone today so she could bask in the Sun while I worked elsewhere. Tomorrow or the next day I may start trimming up some things since the Moon is waning. The biggest job at the moment is keeping everything watered, but I expect that at this time of year. One thing I am celebrating today is an Orchid ‘re-bloom’ and I’m very proud of this one. It’s not easy for most of us to keep Orchids alive, much less do so until it blooms again, which sometimes takes two years. This ‘Tie Dye’ Phalaenopsis is a beauty that managed to survive my worst care record in history last semester. There were a couple buds that fell off during the last week of school because I was late watering, but I put a little extra love into the process for a while and she rewarded me…

'Tie Dye' Phalaenopsis Orchid

One by one, 15 blooms.

Will they all open?

The end bud here is smaller than a pea:

The tiniest of spider webs.

Reminds me of an inkblot test…what were those called? I forget.

I remember now: Rorschach!

It also looks like an alien in the center of a fancy personal spacecraft:

an alien from outer space?

Or maybe it’s just beautiful.

Summer Solstice - 2011

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The title of today’s post makes me very very happy. I’m going to say it again: Spring Break. Ahhhhh. One whole week without classes coming right up! It took a lot to get here and it’s a Full Moon, so today I’m going to rest and roll around in thoughts of what I’ve managed to accomplish over the last little while and pat myself on the back. We should all do that more often you know? Go ahead, pat yourself on the back right now. You are awesome and you know it! If someone else pats you on the back, it’s a great feeling, but why the hell should we wait for that?!

Spring Peas - April 2011

There will be no starting of anything new either. The week ahead will be spent finishing the things I normally don’t have time for. Work is caught up, but I will have the opportunity to do those projects that seem to get put at the bottom of my in-box over and over, like balancing the bank statements and taking inventory of my supplies, cleaning up computer files and reorganizing property photos…sooooo much excitement! There are also some weird and time-consuming school projects and one humongous botany paper to write. Yes, it would be more fun to flake more over the coming week, maybe even leave town a couple days, but my plan is to have everything done that I can do so the rest of the semester goes easy and when it’s over I have a clean Summer Slate to work with. Yes, I am becoming more pragmatic with age. Sigh.

Glamour and Drama in the Swiss Chard patch - April 2011

It will not be all work though…Tom and I have already started to enjoy the extra time together starting with a fabulous lunch out on Friday. I even pulled out a pair of four inch Louboutins to wear. We always enjoy our lunch dates, but the extra glamour went a long way towards starting the break on a positive, mildly self-indulgent foot. 🙂

Fresh Spring Strawberries - almost! April 2011

There has even been some gardening happening the last couple of days. Yay! My big red apple cookie jar is completely empty of seeds right now, which I believe has never happened. It got a good bath inside and out and all of the seeds except for a few odd ones have been planted. (By the time they sprout and get ready for permanent Earth homes, I will done with the semester) The last few remaining seeds will go in the dirt today to honor the Moon and I will not be buying any more for the rest of the year. The time has come to use what I have and clean out the potting shed of stuff I don’t use – I can hardly get in the door! It will be fun to see what germinates because most of these seeds are a bit aged. Some of them are even leftovers of envelopes that have not produced a single viable seed yet, Cantaloupes and Cucumbers among them.

Seed Inventory Day - January 2011

It always amuses me when that happens. Was there just a dysfunctional mother plant that put those seeds out? Most of the time it’s because they have been on the shelf too long and I always forget to check the date on the envelope. Perhaps that will be my nugget of advice for the day; always check for a ‘sell by’ or ‘use by’ date on your seed packages. They should be fresh and no more than a year old when you plant them. Yes, some seeds stay viable for much longer, but why take chances when they aren’t free? Also, I never buy seeds from outlet stores like “Big Lots” or odd stores like a drugstore where you normally wouldn’t buy seeds. If they are displayed in the direct Sun or outside, I don’t buy them either. In fact, I have discovered that seeds ordered online seem to be the most reliable in terms of germination. As far as storage goes, I’ve learned to keep mine in zip-lock baggies in my cookie jar or air tight glass jars, which I collect in every shape, color and size imaginable. They stay up on a shelf in my dark potting shed. It floods in the winter time, but my seeds stay dry and at a consistent temperature. Of course, the best place for a seed is in the Earth!

Boing! Grape vine tendrils....

So now I’m off to have breakfast with Tom and plan the rest of my day. It’s really a wonderful feeling to be able to take my time doing whatever it is I’m doing without feeling pressured to hurry up and finish so I can go do something else that needs doing. Ahhhhh. I can stop running now and enjoy the journey a little more, perhaps contemplate ‘things’ and ‘stuff.’ Contemplation has become a fancy luxury these days. Or maybe I’ll just go outside and sniff some roses – just for hell of it….

The bedroom window roses are in full bloom again. - April 2011

Happy Spring Sunday! and once again because I love saying it – Spring Break!

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'Martha Washington' Geraniums - the most reliable plants in the garden!

The first Saturday of April and a New Moon to go with it! This is the most auspicious day to prune those plants in the garden that are still carrying winter or early spring damage/dead stuff, or that seem to be a bit stunted or are growing in directions contrary to your sense of order. My garden is full of those so I’m going to have a busy morning. I haven’t been able to do any pruning during this entire waning moon, so today is my last chance in so many different ways, and I need to water.

Spring Rose Leaf - March 30, 2011

What I really love about this time of year is that I start seeing ‘revival’ in the garden. Last month I stood out on my patio and felt sadness because things looked dead and scraggly and I couldn’t do anything about it. Not having time to do Spring things in the Spring garden is really frustrating for me. Yes, I know I chose to take on three classes, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to have to let things go. Then, about a week ago, I noticed things coming alive again, popping up out of the ground and bursting open in shiny green-aliciousness and saying ‘hey lady, we’re still here so get over it!’ So, okay I lost some plants while I was busy, but the bones of my garden are still alive and are beginning to thrive and I’m going to reward them with some special attention today – maybe even some fertilizer. They always reward me in turn by making me feel a little more alive and thriving, and I really need that today.

edible Nasturtium bloom - March 30, 2011

So, before I get distracted with cleaning my room, which looks like I need to call the staff from one of those ‘hoarders’ shows, doing homework or the laundry or cleaning the house….AAACK! – run! RUN outside before you get distracted and change your priorities and the clouds come out to rain on you and the G-Damned doorbell rings or the…..

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