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Archive for the ‘Vines’ Category

The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.

~ Galileo Galilei

Grapes Leaves and Sky


Several years ago, Tom and I bought a Cabernet Grape vine while out on one of our shopping excursions. In fact, I think we were at Costco buying food. I always run through the garden section, simply because I cannot “not” go into the garden section. There they were, so we brought them home and planted them by the Gothic iron archway that Gina and Lori had gifted me for my birthday.

Gently Sun-Kissed


They’ve done really well and we’ve had fun watching them grow. The leaves are always beautiful and it amazes me how the vines themselves reach out in fearless exploration, sometimes climbing over the fence into the neighbor’s yard.

I'm always awestruck by ripe clusters of grapes in my very own garden


This year, we decided to try our hand at making grape jelly. The grapes are not sweet enough to really be table grapes and we’re still experimenting with what else to do with them.

Bacchus would approve


We cooked them in a pot with a little sugar.

..in a cauldron...


Then we put them through the food mill to get rid of skins and seeds and ‘whatnot’.

grind and grind and grind and grind


Then back in the pot for the final cook. This is where all the Magic happened. They wanted quite a bit of sugar. We put the final product in jars and ate it on toast. It was delicious!

There is definitely some High Magic going on here!


Next year, I’d like to try making Dolma with the leaves, and maybe a different kind of jam or some juice. Who knows.

Late summer grape leaves and Queene Anne's Lace


As the year fades, the leaves turn yellow then orange and finally, bright red. They dry up and fall, leaving naked vines which I cut back in February with the Roses…and we start all over.

Fading into the Sunset

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Passion Fruit flower - June 2010

The Layers
by Stanley Kunitz

I have walked through many lives,
some of them my own,
and I am not who I was,
though some principle of being
abides, from which I struggle
not to stray.
When I look behind,
as I am compelled to look
before I can gather strength
to proceed on my journey,
I see the milestones dwindling
toward the horizon
and the slow fires trailing
from the abandoned camp-sites,
over which scavenger angels
wheel on heavy wings.
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go,
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
In my darkest night,
when the moon was covered
and I roamed through wreckage,
a nimbus-clouded voice
directed me:
“Live in the layers,
not on the litter.”
Though I lack the art
to decipher it,
no doubt the next chapter
in my book of transformations
is already written.
I am not done with my changes.

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A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books. ~Walt Whitman

Morning Glory 6-9-2010


The Morning Glories Lucie sent me for my birthday in March are finally blooming! as are the Cardinal Climbers I planted for the hummingbirds:

Cardinal Climbers June 2010


Just a quick update this morning and then my nose is back to the grindstone. Things are getting caught up and online and in shape and all that stuff, but I find myself sketchy because I want to get a lot more done and the to-do lists are cranking around in my head like the gears of some weird planetary alignment toy or that song from the 70’s about the windmills of your mind. The only way to get through it is to do it. The biggest challenge for me is to be realistic about my goals and to allocate my time. What I really want to do is get lost in a big project and ride it to completion: I’m going to try on every single pair of shoes I own and then sell the ones I don’t want on EBAY and I’m going to do all of this in 3 hours. Uhhhh – NO! sigh…

trying to remain grounded


In the meantime, the garden is lush and healthy and seems to be stable: nothing that needs doing at the moment! Once my office is in good shape, I can move on to getting the rest of my life ready for school. I’m very excited to see where it will all be when I sit down to have that first bottle of wine with Lucie when she comes to visit next month. It’s been a couple of years since I saw her and I can’t wait to light the garden up with candles when the sun goes down, put on some music and catch up with what’s been going on in her life. These are the moments of summer when all my work pays off!

That color of green you can't describe...March 2010


Thought I’d also share a short article about edible flowers from one of my favorite websites: Organic Gardening dot com. When I figure this blog thing out properly, I’ll have a section with my favorite links but lately every time I sit down to do that I get interrupted and my computer instincts are feeble enough…well it’s disastrous. Oh well.

Pansy 6/5/10


So now I’m off to work and to recharge the battery on my camera which died while I was taking a photo of the Morning Glory. Poor thing gets used to death every day, stuck in my bra while I water or garden, dropped in the dirt, left outside over night…it’s a trooper! Needless to say, there are a LOT of photos of the garden to share as soon as I get a chance.

Whirling Butterflies (guara) May 2010


Windmills of Your Mind
Words and music by Alan Bergman

Round, like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel.
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that’s turning
Running rings around the moon

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it’s face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel thatyou follow
To a tunnel of its own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it’s face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Keys that jingle in your pocket
Words that jangle in your head
Why did summer go so quickly
Was it something that I said?
Lovers walking along the shore,
Leave their footprints in the sand
Was the sound of distant drumming
Just the fingers of your hand?

Pictures hanging in a hallway
And a fragment of this song
Half remembered names and faces
But to whom do they belong
When you knew that it was over
were you suddenly aware
That the autumn leaves were turning
To the color of her hair

Like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning,

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So, I finally finished up in the office and headed outdoors to prune the living hell out of everything. For my own uses later, here’s the list:

1) sage – both
2) lavender – Spanish only
3) roses – backyard only
4) passion-fruit vine
5) euryops (daisy bush)
6) Japanese eggplant…will it live?
7) whirling butterfly plant (guara)
9) rosemary – both
10) grape vine
11) Chinese wisteria (vines widdershins – of course)
12) lilac – both (look up info…they’re sad)

The pictures I promised of all the springiness:

The hyacinth I planted a few years ago:

pink hyacinth

The green onions I planted for one of my first blog posts:

Green Onions - update

Lilac bud. I will have to do some research on these little plants. They haven’t done well and it’s time I do something about it.

Lilac buds

grabby little pea shoots

Widdershins Wisteria - Chinese


Fig


Apple


This spectacular bloom is the most exotic looking flower in the garden right now. Can you guess what it is? The common clover: most people pull it out as weeds…people are sooooo silly!

can you guess?

In honor of the season of fertility, I’m sharing a picture of my penis cactus. Six months of the year it does not receive adequate sun. The other six months it does not receive adequate water. I believe both are appropriate and those of you with penises know exactly what I mean. Reality is what it is and I leave these cacti where they stand in honor of that:

I wish you could have smelled this jasmine. In fact, I trimmed the rosemary, lavender and jasmine all at once. The backyard smelled so amazing. Screw the rapture, I made paradise my own damned self!

Jasmine

And now we celebrate a day that is more complete:

Peanut with book

I have much to celebrate this evening..my list, for my own purposes later:

Leda
Sonam
Spider Orchids
Bat guano
Seed Starting Mix
7
Buddha
Voids
Old Sheets with Clouds
Sawdust
Blue Slippers
Weeds
Wings and Nests
Epiphanies
Fire
Time
Tomorrow…

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