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when you can grow your own?
while i did support the floral industry for yesterday’s big event, i had to supplement the arrangement that arrived on our doorstep with a few of these fresh beauties from the garden. there… that’s better.
my sweetie was particularly lucky. not only did i make him cheddar-beer-mustard pull apart bread (which was good even for someone who can’t stand mustard…), but the sweater i’ve been knitting him on/off for the past three years is finally DONE!
i hope cupid was good to you. happy belated valentine’s day everyone, and happy bloom day.
have you received our christmas card in the mail yet? if not, here’s a digital version for you to enjoy:
yes, this is the third and latest addition to our annual holiday yard art series. last year’s fragrance was spice (…and everything nice!), the year before that royal pine. not satisfied with mere yard decorations, we wanted to make more of a statement this time to acknowledge the year of record-breaking drought in texas.
the plants outside are dying
and my dear, we’re still xeriscaping…
but as long as you love me so,
let it rain!
let it rain!
let it rain!
while it is a catchy tune, i’m not sure if our rendition of “let it snow” will do anything to improve what the drought monitor indicates. however, i’m happy to report that as soon as our friends in the b/cs started receiving their cards in the mail today, it started to rain! haha! it’s working…!
now, if only we could figure out how to make them truly scratch-n-sniff…
it’s beginning to smell a lot like christmas… texas style. merry christmas y’all.
this morning i went to empty the contents of my rain-filled, chartreuse watering can onto our thirsty potted citrus trees when i noticed the water wasn’t coming out very fast. leaves and debris tend to fall into the can, or rather, i pour them into it as i decant our rain tubs into the can. apparently someone went for a water slide, because this is who i found in the spigot:
well… what are YOU doing in there little guy?! i think he was as surprised as i was. thankfully, the plastic perforated covering pops off the spigot, with a little effort, of course. in no time i had Hyla freed from his confinement.
without any significant trees to place him by, i set him, with his perforated plinth, into a clump of Chasmanthium latifolium (inland sea oats). i wonder where i’ll see him next… whadoyaknow, i just went through my photo archives and realized that this must be the same guy i saw in august last year (but never posted about), as he has the same number & location of golden spots on his back and behind his right eye:
whadoyathink… is he attracted to the modern design of the watering can? hey ikea, i think you’ve got a niche market here…
thanks to the Herps of Texas website for help in identifying our garden critter. i’m stumped as to why he lives in our garden, because it’s far from a swamp, lake side, or stream edge. i guess the water in the can was a bit smelly, if not brackish from all the derbis in the bottom of the tub. none the less, i’m happy he likes it. and i’ll take that as my lucky four-leaf clover find for the day.
i was determined to send out valentine’s this year, as christmas and the new year went by without us getting around to sending paper greetings for that joyous occasion. well, it’s happened again, and my chance to make and send cards of this recent garden photo, via the postal service, has passed…
a while back, i happened to receive a vintage german pop-up valentine from my mother-in-law, who knows i’m a sucker for those sorts of things. i think it’s from her father’s stash of paper goods, as he was a printer in detroit and also a sucker for those sorts of things. i took two photographs of the card out amongst the rosemary: one in the closed position, and the other open. i then placed it, via photoshop, in a vintage paper photography studio frame, also from the stash of detroit goods.
happy valentine’s day everyone. may you all find little treasures to enjoy today.
somehow amongst all the holiday to-do’s i didn’t get around to sending out our holiday greeting card. so instead of printing them out at home on heavy watercolor paper, cutting them out with an x-acto knife, hand addressing them and affixing a vintage holiday stamp to its corner, this year posting it on the blog will have to do. no matter how you receive this little message, we love you all the same. happy holidays and merry christmas!
and yes, that “tree” is really planted in our yard, the second in our now annual holiday yard art series.
here are a few in-progress pics:
now taking suggestions for next year… vanillaroma anyone?
i came across a fun image of a bat woman at the graphics fairy last night. inspired to make a little something for the holiday, i added her to background images of a pumpkin blossom and a skipper moth, both taken in the garden. who is she, this bat woman? perusing the poetry foundation website for moth and bat inspired poems, i came across “her kind” by anne sexton and gained some insight into just who she may be.
happy halloween. if you want to listen to a podcast on magic and the occult, this is an interesting one i heard this morning on public radio. if only i had some gold leaf lying around…
i was at a book store the other day and found a treasure that’s perfect to share with you today:
if you’ve ever been over to our house you know my penchant for books – gardening books in particular. while i love new books, there’s a certain quality about old books that intrigues me… the worn fabric edges, the graphic flourishes to emphasize the title’s typeface, the smell of well-aged newsprint, the wonder of who’s hands the book has passed through over time… the book that caught my eye this time was america’s garden book, written by louise bush-brown (former director of the pennsylvania school of horticulture for women, now temple university ambler) and james bush-brown (former landscape architect and member of asla). it was originally published in 1939 and periodically revised (book shown in 1952) by charles scribner’s sons. it covers the gamut of horticultural information and includes black and white illustrations, line drawings and photographs.
i tend to file notes, pamphlets and photos in the pages of books – mostly to mark the page i’m on, but i often forget that i’ve filed them there. i’m glad i’m not the only one:
i found the entry pictured above particularly interesting given this holiday of independence… for to be truly appreciative of our life histories, shouldn’t we know something about the way in which ALL things live and grow…?
happy independence day.
i came across a unique image on nyt today that graphically (and floristically) depicts the number of soldiers who fought and died for the U.S. since the revolutionary war.
the size of the flowers on the wreath are scaled to reflect the number of soldiers that died for each wartime effort. what isn’t graphically depicted is the number of deceased soldiers that were unable to be identified or were otherwise lost in action; this information is described in the article that follows the image. while i’m no expert on the history of war and i’ve not had to experience a personal loss of this kind, i can only imagine the impact that even a single loss of life brought to those who most cherished it. however, i am grateful to those that have served (my dad, my grandfather, my great-grandfather…), even if i can’t fathom the experiences they’ve had to endure…
see more projects by rumors design studio here.
admiring the garden after hosting a party of 12 for easter linner (lunch-dinner), i gathered my favorite bits to share with you:
clockwise from top center: Allium ascalonicum (shallot), Salvia x fruiticosa ‘Newe Ya’ar’ (silver leaf sage), Rubus ‘Kiowa’ (blackberry), mystery Lamiaceae (mint), Brassica oleracea ‘Colorup Red’ (kale).
and then there was the white chocolate coated matzo crackers with pistachios and dark chocolate drizzle (recipe here):
happy easter everyone. i hope the bunny was good to you…
i couldn’t pass up today’s opportunity to write about and show you our “prize-winning” clover, since it is st. patrick’s day. or, should i say, what we once considered the fairest green of the neighborhood:
yes, we prided ourselves on the size of clover clumps we grew in the front yard this winter. if only we had a whole emerald lawn of it… Trifolium procumbens, or low hop clover, that is. it’d sure beat looking at the brown, dead dormant st. augustine grass that was such an inspiring view…
but alas, the threat of all the clover seeds that could potentially infiltrate the neighborhood put us to shame, and so we pulled it. each and every plant. however, we made sure to appreciate all the nitrogen-fixing nodules on the roots before we threw them into the compost heap:
the leprechauns in the lawn must’ve gone to work in the soil after us, because after yesterday’s rains, the front lawn was looking even greener than i remembered:
or then again, maybe someone just put jameson’s in my coffee this morning…
green of leaf and green of sod, green of ivy on the wall, the blessed irish shamrock (was) the fairest green of all.
-mary elizabeth blake