Posts Tagged ‘garden


succulent (anti-blather 2)




plumeria (and weather patterns)

it’s the end of the second week of extreme heat.

all of the plants are putting on a good face in spite of their wilting spirits.

me too.


glass door pulls in the garden or in other words, nothing important

we have an atrium fence outside one of the bathrooms and a few years ago we added wood finials to the corner posts and topped those off with glass door pulls. nice and sparkly, right?

in the intervening years, they’ve come off (the weather, dry or wet, is the culprit) and the crows have made off with them.

except for this one. it’s been sitting on the railing just about at my eye level for a couple of years now, every-once-in-a-while i’ll give it a nudge when i’m watering the ferns (staghorn, leather, and a nameless one) that reside inside the atrium. it entertains me with its light and shape and color (-fulness, -lessness, either or), at least when i think about it which i did on saturday when i photographed it and today as i share it with you.


sunday (a flower a day)

the garden has been neglected this year.  it’s managed fairly well what with the occasional weeding or trimming or pruning, but for the most part i’ve just let it be.  other than the initial rose bloom in the early spring, there haven’t been as many blossoms, but still enough to make a bouquet now and then.  strangely enough, some of the cymbidium orchids are blooming now, instead of in january–other flowers are also blooming early–the camellia and the paper whites are way ahead of schedule and i can’t decide if that’s a result of me ignoring them or if some greater power is at work–a neighbor’s azalea hedge is in full bloom–not what you would expect in october.  go figure.

to make up for my indifference, i’ve planned a week of blossoms, one-a-day, just like a vitamin.  some days i’ll add some words, but there may be days when i don’t so don’t be surprised if i let the image do the talking (can you imagine?)

also, for some strange reason (could it be the moon, halloween?), i feel like sharing some things you may not know about me and that i haven’t already divulged somewhere, sometime:

1.  i worked at k-mart my junior year of high school.  it is where i learned the little ditty, “i’ve got the son in the morning and the father at night.”

2.  i have green eyes except for when they’re blue.

3.  my second toe is longer than my big toe.  supposedly that’s a sign of royalty.  (as if.)

4.  i’m shy.   (are your eyes rolling back into your head?)  and i’m fearless in a crowd.  like my mother i will talk to anyone and yet i can be embarrassingly shy.  it depends, on what i don’t know, it just happens sometimes.


the rose and the grasshopper (notes on procrastination)

is it not amazing (well, at least to me, but possibly not as amazing as i’m letting on, perhaps i should start over); it always fascinates me how easily distracted i can be in the name of ________.  the garden needed watering and although we have a sprinkler system for most of it, there are an awful lot of pots and window boxes that just need to be hand-watered.

but this grasshopper got in the way.  you don’t often see grasshoppers this close to the coast, but when you do, they are always brilliant chartreuse and huge (they are huge compared to the grasshoppers i remember from my youth in south dakota, where, in the summer, you couldn’t spit without hitting one–we, the neighbor kids and i, used to catch them and put them in pickle jars–pickle jars being more abundant back then as opposed to other kinds of jars–it’s possible that our mothers held onto  empty pickle jars to use to store grease from cooking bacon or, if i remember correctly, from their use of crisco for so many different dishes, what those dishes were i cannot tell you, although i do remember, now that we’re talking about cooking — were we? — that my mother loved spinach cooked in vinegar and try as she might she could never get me to like it.  do you wonder why?  it’s not that i didn’t like spinach, creamed was okay if it was necessary, but cooked with vinegar?  are you kidding?)

other things got in my way today and kept me from completing the list of tasks i had assigned to this particular sunday.  unfortunately (or fortunately, depending upon your particular take on the things that can derail even the most committed of workaholics — although i do not consider myself a ‘workaholic’–i’ve always subscribed to getting what you can get done in your 40 hours, except when it’s necessary to work longer, then you do.  it appears then that these distractions today kept me from nothing important as much as i might have thought they were) — and now i can’t remember what was deemed ‘unfortunately’.  <sigh>

today then.  it was what it was meant to be, i just had no idea that it would be as perfect as it was and sometimes, when your plans are derailed by beauty regardless of where you may encounter it, you just have to give into it–whatever it is.  in this case, today’s for instance, it would be the perfection of the day and how it unfolded from this morning’s dog walk to the farmer’s market (btw, i cut my hair — both of them — today), to a luscious little laydown just after lunch, a cool breeze flowing up the canyon from the ocean on which my dreams floated– i dreamt of you and you–and a little after that, watering the garden, the surprise visit from the grasshopper and these random thoughts on not getting done what i had so thoughtfully, so carefully, and as it turned out, so unconvincingly, planned.  c’est la guerre, n’est-ce pas? (gratuitous use of french your bonus–not that you were expecting one, a bonus that is, but nonetheless, i have the skill and i should use it as i see fit, hmm?)


palm trees (& flu shots)

fourteen years ago we planted a $8.99 10 gallon queen palm in the corner of our front yard.  it was maybe 5′ tall at the time.  sheltered from the canyon winds that whistle on the other side of our house, it’s been a real delight watching it grow.  about 5 years ago, it got to be so tall that i had to get up on the roof to trim it.  today, it’s close to 30′ tall & we have to have professionals come & take off the dead fronds.

when you walk down our driveway from the street you can now see it waving at you, “welcome home, welcome home,” it seems to whisper; the fronds duck & rustle & throw their head back, a stallion tossing its mane, “ride me, get on, let’s go for a spin.”

standing underneath it now & looking up at its joyousness, its revelry & its maturity (when it blooms, great drops of yellow fuzz burst out of a hard cone of palm bark,  a philip treacy hat) it lifts you up off your feet with its sheer beauty, its living essence pulls you off the ground, your shoes drop off your feet & wrapped in its grecian robes, you dance & cavort amongst the ruins, no music (just its own) to interfere with your thoughts (isadora in your dreams.)

post script:  i blame the flu shot i got today.  my head is throbbing & is just painful enough to induce this mirage.


a morning in may (inventory)



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© 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.

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