Archive for the 'gardens' Category

04
Apr
16

flowers (and rhetorical questions)

what  becomes of the broken-hearted?

IMG_2603

how can we be lovers if we can’t be friends?

IMG_2604

where is the love?

IMG_2607

how do i live without you?

IMG_2609

what’s love got to do with it?

IMG_2610

how can you mend a broken heart?

IMG_2611

wouldn’t it be nice?

IMG_2614

who do you think you are?

IMG_2616

who’s zoomin’ who?

 

01
Mar
16

spring flowers (cyclamen, daisies, and patience)

what do i know about spring? (did you know that many cyclamen species in their native range–the mediterranean basin–are severely depleted and endangered because of the horticultural trade? nor did i. that makes my two little pots of pink cyclamen that much more precious.) but, spring, yes, what do i know about spring?

FullSizeRender(6)

when i was younger and living in the north, i know spring was highly anticipated. a break in the cold, gray, drabness of winter, just the hint of water running as the ice and snow melted on a warm day in march. (march is tricky up north, it’s end is the beginning of spring, but also the end of winter. your chances for comfort or disappointment equally elusive), but you take what you’re given.

FullSizeRender(7)

as i grew older and fled the plains for the chicago lakefront, spring took on a whole new meaning for me. it offered hope, or at least a modicum of aspiration, growth, renewal. of course, that came in fits and starts, much like spring weather. dry and cold, wet and warm, snow up to your ankles accompanied by that faint green aura that surrounds deciduous trees as they leaf out, a little darker green each day, hour, minute, second, pushing out as the snow and cold recede, a time-lapse photograph.

FullSizeRender(8)

but spring in the southwest is an entirely different experience. it happens suddenly and without warning. plants are blooming, new growth is sprouting on the trees and the shrubs. if you did your homework, the roses are beginning to leaf out fully and some may even have little tiny buds, the first rose to bloom since late last year just a few weeks away. i find that i can wait.

FullSizeRender(9)

patience, now, a surprise gift of spring and growing older.

03
Jan
16

notes on gardening in the new year

we’ve been through a lot, she and i.

IMG_2350

she stood on a globe with shooting stars circling it, a butterfly perched on her right hand, offered up to the gods like a tithe, the astral winds pulling at her gown, defining her voluptuousness. it would have been easy to walk right by her, many had, but she drew me to her with her simple, pleasant expression, her rather demure demeanor, eyes downcast, hesitant and hopeful as if at the next moment she would lift her face to you and speak.

she came home with me from an antique store on clark st. just north of fullerton in chicago on a rainy day in 1975 when i was on one of my long walks. i think i paid $95 for her (a lot of money then) and was told she was made around the turn of the century (20th) and was composed of ‘white metal’–which, at the time, i was too afraid of not knowing what it meant, that i didn’t ask what ‘white metal’ was–it was years later that i found out, but many years before wikipedia. i set her on the top of an old wooden secretary desk in my high-rise studio apartment and she resided there, close to the ceiling for a few years, taking note of my failures (many) and triumphs (few) and then followed me from one encampment to the next, losing the butterfly along the way, (was it 18th st., wolfram st., wolcott ave., piiholo rd.? idk.), until i landed in california (amethyst ave., crystal sands dr.) where she became a garden ornament.

she didn’t weather well. an arm fell off. i saved it for a few years, then threw it away when she separated from the globe she’d been standing on. i kept the globe and stuck her one foot into the ground and watched the ivy claim her, and then i would pull that away, but the ivy had different plans and the next time i found her she’d been embraced once again by it’s tendrils and intentions. the globe on its art nouveau base still exists and is sitting next to her, just out of view to the left. the gilt has long disappeared and she’s been pock-marked from the heat, the dry, the rain, and the sun until her surface is rough and uncomfortable to touch.

a few months ago, i rescued her from laying upright against the base of the birdbath where she’d taken up residency a few years before. protected from the bird’s droppings by the overhang of the clay bowl, but still majestic in her own way. this ‘rescue’ involved laying her on a patio table and ignoring her for months, not sure what to do with her. i’ve been slowly ‘de-accessioning’ the garden: when plants die, i’m letting the ivy take over, when the honeysuckle needed removing, i pulled out the trellis and threw it away; the decorative birdhouses that housed hummingbirds and wrens, but fell on hard times, have been tossed, my intention is less time devoted to maintenance, although my gardening motto is “benign neglect”. it’s just too much anymore–as long as the garden’s schedule conflicts with my own. there may come a day when i’ll “re-up” and have the time to devote to it, but that’s not now.

but what to do about her? and her companion, whom i’ve not even mentioned–she once held a round walnut clock in her outstretched art deco hands, perky breasts and luxurious thighs sitting on a walnut base, but somewhere along the line, she lost those and became a sister to the goddess. she, too, has stories to tell, but she’s the soul of discretion, you’ll not get a word out of her.

for now, they’ll lay here, moldering, but not unloved. one day, i may have the heart (and the courage) to toss them, but not yet, i’m not quite ready to let go of those times and motivations, those yeses and nos, the glitter and the tarnish.

09
Nov
15

the rose and the cloud, a vanishing act

we used to be headliners.

IMG_2213

but then the recession hit.

FullSizeRender

and now, we’re lucky to book a week in peoria in the off season.

 

18
Oct
15

a few minutes in balboa park on saturday, october 17, 2015, exactly 100 years after my first visit

it couldn’t have taken longer than 10 minutes to walk from the san diego history museum to where our bus was idling, but

IMG_2147there was much to admire. this angel trumpet could have been the pipes of a cathedral organ. or maybe it was and had i but listened more closely i would have heard a bach organ toccata, idk. or,

IMG_2148these two people may have been caryatids, designed specifically in the 21st century style to prop up the decidedly early 2oth century urns on pedestals of a particularly pleasing palette. as you undoubtedly can see (if you’ll only take the moment to look);

IMG_2151balboa park in san diego is celebrating its 100th anniversary. someone please light the candles on this rococco revival cake of a building.

IMG_2152a great urban park is a meeting place for a city’s citizens to stroll and gawk and giggle and admire and relax from a week’s work (this being a saturday, after all). that appealed to me…we don’t have that in orange county–unless you consider fashion island or south coast plaza our version of urban parks and the meeting place of a great society. <sigh> and,

IMG_2153just when you thought you’d fallen down a rabbit hole of terra cotta floral excess, you’d be right, of course. one building in balboa park after another is a folly and a fantasy, but it makes sense; it’s comforting in its own way. the citizenry blithely

IMG_2155ignorant and at the same time completely cognizant of its beauty. and in spite of the crush of humanity, each and every person with their own agenda for the day: strollers, gawkers, wedding photographers, children, and pets (dogs mostly, but the occasional boa constrictor, too), shorts and sequins and heels and flats, curls in hair mimicking the floral strands winding their way up the pillars and columns. just the right balance of too much and wishing for more.

IMG_2156were you there, too? i thought i saw you at the end of the koi pond, but you were too far away for me to call to you; for a moment i’d forgotten my 21st century technology and waved to you instead. did you see me?

 

 

05
Dec
13

getty center, 4 (gift baskets)

hummingbird #1: ooh, look at this one!

DSC08100hummingbird #2: i just give up during the holidays.

DSC08101hummingbird #1: omg, this one!

DSC08102hummingbird #2: from my lips to my hips. i am going to regret this.

DSC08103hummingbird #1: more, please!

DSC08106hummingbird #2: you know, harry, you’re going to hate yourself in the morning.

04
Dec
13

getty center, 3 (this is the part where i lagged behind my companions because i was dumb-struck by the pleasure of the gardens and every which way i turned presented a vista of unrivaled beauty)

the garden has two sides, both of which have an ‘english’ feel to them, a little wilder, a little less ‘french’ (see the azalea maze), plants rub up against each other and even in the winter months there are little surprises–delicate blooms at your feet and above your head.

DSC08097all you have to do is slow down, take a moment to enjoy the panorama, and breath. don’t forget to breath.

DSC08098as you can see, when you take a breath, the most exquisite of blossoms comes into view.

DSC08099(yes, you’re right, i’m going to drag this whole getty thing out for a few more days…) [ellipsises were free today]




Follow me on Instagram

#DogWalk #Wall-E #EarlyBird #PacificCoast

Extraneous Pages

Archives

Categories

Twitter Updates

Copyright notice

© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

%d bloggers like this: