Posts Tagged ‘rosemary’

Evening Primrose

“Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.”
Kahlil Gibran


Well, here we are again at the cusp of a full moon. THe usual ritual of being mindful of what of was accomplished since the last full moon is proving quite difficult. There is simply too much to note. But, I have a tremendous sense of accomplishment deep in my gut and I intend to open a bottle of one of my favorite wines tomorrow night and share it with my man: 2007 Pinot from ZD Wineries, discovered in Napa on our last visit there.

Foxgloves (separate post for these another day!)

Along with the many goals finally reached, there is a garden full of success to enjoy. This is to be celebrated doubly since we lost quite a large number of seedlings to frost-bite (yes, even in California!) over the last month or so. It’s amazing how cold and cloudy it has been here lately, so some of the babies just up and withered and I all but lost the large rosemary plant. Maybe I can save it at the next new moon. No worries though, enough seedlings survived to cover every square inch of Earth under my care and keeping: I’m all out of dirt!

the Chives are blooming

The BIG item: I finished my first math class (Pre-Algebra!) and did well. Math has always been very difficult for me. Growing up in low-income schools and then struggling on my own at home for high school (home school sucks!) put me at a severe disadvantage in this department and I always thought there was no hope to catch up or ever “get it” – Well, I fixed that and I’ve signed up for more algebra during the summer to be followed by more in the fall…and you know what? – I love it! It’s great feeling confident now, despite the times when I was positive nothing new was going to get into my gray matter and take permanent hold. There were moments of sheer panic and dread, followed by pacing, and I will even confess to a couple of tears, but I pushed through it and am proud of myself. It was awesome to walk into class to take a math final, however remedial, and know what to do after a lifetime of just the opposite. (and special thanks to my fabulous Tom for helping me with my homework and for knowing just what to say and when to say it) It also feels really satisfying to know my parents were completely wrong in not believing I was worth any kind of education and to finally be undoing whatever damage that did to my ego and sense of self worth.

Yellow and White Gladiolus

In yoga practice, I finally figured out how to properly do the King Dancer pose (Natarajasana) without falling on my big ass or wobbling like a clumsy dork. (Well, ok, I still wobble a tetch) It makes me feel strong and light at the same, like I could fly or knock down a wall if I needed to. For the first time in a long time I feel a little graceful. Not an easy feeling for me: I have never EVER been comfortable in my skin. There, I said it.

Natarajasana - King Dancer Pose

After several years of nursing the artichoke plants along, we finally have real live artichokes that we actually got to EAT! NO JOKE! here’s their exciting journey:

Artichoke - the first year or so

Artichokes after 2 years - March 2010

an actual Artichoke! April 2010

Ready to eat Artichoke!

To prepare them: wash well, chop off the top inch and leaf tips if they’re sharp, steam in an inch of water with some lemon-garlic-bay leaf type stuff, eat with some mayo into which you’ve stirred a little saffron – delicious! Don’t forget to eat the heart which is at the very bottom after you’ve scooped off the wooly parts.

Trim the top inch off your artichoke before cooking

Aromatic Artichoke Bath

Artichokes waiting in line. I'll be right there....

Yesterday, I finally put every single seedling planted since February into its permanent home. Next year, I will not do so much seed planting and I will use peat pots so I don’t have to do the “pricking out” either – so time consuming! I never expected so many seeds to sprout and live, so when the last of them (mostly tomatoes and leeks) needed permanent homes I was having difficulty finding Earth-space. The “I’ve run out of dirt” statement is NOT an exaggeration! The good news is I’m starting to harvest big lettuce and all the basil. Just in time to plant seeds for the next batch! And YES we are making pesto!

Endive and Basil

Italian and Sweet Basil 5-25-10


what's left of my radishes

It also appears that there will be squash and beans to harvest in the next day or so. That will be keeping me busy, along with bunches of deferred maintenance; caging up all the tomatoes that have run wild and putting the grape vines on the trellis, pulling weeds and trimming/pruning, fertilizing and lots of watering, harvesting and eating it all up. Hopefully, I’ll have a lot more done before I go back to school June 22nd, when I’ll have to stop gardening for a while. sigh.

Grape vines searching for home

So now, I’m off to FINISH things that aren’t quite finished yet – there are always lots of those! In the garden, I’ll replant seeds for the herbs that have already finished their cycle and I want more of; basil and arugula, tarragon, and more seeds for what didn’t live; morning glory, moonflower, anise etc…By tomorrow night when the juicy swooning moon rises to remind me of the absolute truth of my nature, I will be ready.


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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



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!


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:

Spider Orchids
Bat guano
Seed Starting Mix
Old Sheets with Clouds
Blue Slippers
Wings and Nests

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Of scenes of nature, fields and mountains;
Of skies, so beauteous after a storm—and at night the moon so unearthly bright,
Shining sweetly, shining down, where we dig the trenches and gather the heaps,
I dream, I dream, I dream.

from In Midnight Sleep – Walt Whitman

Sundays are my favorite day to garden. Lately, I haven’t been able to do much, what with being out of town and it raining so much, and another storm coming on Tuesday. Today was a sunny day and I ventured out to assess the storm damage and see what dirt I could manage to get under my fingernails.

The entire lawn is a swamp with water standing in puddles thanks to our California clay deep down keeping the rain from soaking in any further. The rain bucket (huge trash can) was entirely full and I managed to fill up two more buckets after emptying out all the vessels that were sprinkled around the yard. Next year, or when the budget allows, I’d like to have the whole rain chain/barrel set up…but it’s expensive, and for now I’m making due using the passion fruit vine as a rain chain.
a bucket, dear Liza, of rain
After I got my rainwater situation under control, I dumped the unused dirt out of the wine boxes I used last season for pumpkins. They need a good drying out and then I’ll oil them well with linseed oil and use them again this spring. When the boxes are finally unusable I take the ends off and nail them to the outside of the potting shed. I love wine boxes and can’t have enough of them scattered around being used for one thing or another…mostly books and plants.

Also needing attention was a sorely neglected Malabar Chestnut that I had set outside and forgotten. By the time I got back out there most of it was dead and the dirt had washed out of the pot. Poor Baby!

half dead 'money tree' or Malabar Chestnut
She got a good trimming off of the dead stuff, which left only one small stem with roots

After a gentle re-potting, she sits quietly in the infirmary window.

The broom corn has completely taken over the pot that held the juncus effusus spiralis which I bought on one of the many nursery visits with my friend Andrea, a fellow green thumb. It reminded me of my own hair…anyways, it needed help immediately

broom corn mess

I took the entire clump out of the pot and cut the grass away and divided the juncus into smaller pieces. This is a great way to propagate perennials. I use an old bread knife if I just cannot divide things with my hands or pull them apart with a garden fork. It seems aggressive but most plants will bounce back with a little love.

juncus effusus 'Spiralis'

Now, where there was one, I have five – fabulous!

Other exciting news from the garden today:
The first jasmine bloom of the season – right outside my bedroom window 🙂
The rosemary is blooming – one of my favorite shades of lavender:

rosemary blossoms

The swiss chard seems to be thriving in the stormy weather:

swiss chard

The lemons are squeaky clean. I never pass by my lemon tree without singing the Peter, Paul and Mary song…lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet…

There wasn’t much in the way of storm damage, only a flooded potting shed, soggy broom, and a few decorations blown off the fence. Even the hail didn’t do a lot of damage. Color me thankful and impatient to plant in the soil while it’s still wet.

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