Posts Tagged ‘roses


use a bigger brush

met an esteemed doctor of neurology the other day when we interviewed him for a work project about creativity.


after we were through, he asked me if i painted. when i demurred and said, “not often, i have to think too hard about it.” he said, “use a bigger brush.”

a piece of advice that i just can’t seem to forget.


this work is something i have painted for an upcoming silent auction. when it goes online for pre-bidding, i’ll let you know.

let’s all remember, when things get rough, complicated, difficult, or seem out-of-reach, just “use a bigger brush.”


exposé: flowers reveal their true feelings

“all i ever do is bloom,” opined the azalea.

IMG_2173 (2)“i feel your pain,” drawled the bird of paradise.

IMG_2174 (2)“well, that’s nothing compared to what we put up with,” said the yellow rose.

IMG_2175 (2)“puh-leeze,” muttered the heritage rose under her breath, “that yellow rose drops its pants with the slightest provocation.”

IMG_2176 (2)“i would too, given the opportunity,” squeaked the rose’s bud-dy.

IMG_2177 (2)“what’s a little blossom like you, doing in a garden like this,” purred the honey-throated horny old hibiscus.

IMG_2178 (2)“well, i never!” huffed the succulent. [editor’s note: not true.]

IMG_2179 (2)“look what happened to me when i flew too close to the sun,” wailed the neighbor’s rose from its imposing height.

IMG_2182 (2)“god, i’m depressed,” whispered sonia (the only rose in the garden with a name, except for mr. lincoln and princess diana, neither of whom wished to be on camera for this story.)

IMG_2181 (2)























floral fantasia (currently in rehearsal)

a calla lily, currently living in front of the house across the sidewalk from ours, has been unfurling for 2.5 weeks. i’m glad it’s taking its sweet time.


this pink rose is just peeking over the top of our shower’s atrium fence quietly begging me to take its photo. i relented.


a golden rose bud closed tight against the cold, wet winter weather of southern california.


these cyclamen (doesn’t that name remind you of dr. who?) seeded themselves three pots and a pot stand away from their mother ship.


perhaps the best floral photo i’ve ever taken (i only slightly heightened the contrast).


more on the century plant (one of my obsessions) in a post coming this week.


i don’t know what kind of flower this is, do you? but i loved the way it was holding the sunlight the other afternoon.



roses (in the meantime)

found these photos hiding out in a “draft” post from a couple of years ago that have never seen the light of day and have decided to rectify that.

like a good dog, every bloom has its day.

today is that day for these fine fellows. (yes, masculine, just to stir the pot a bit.)


palms (1)

what activity in your day (or night) would you be willing to give up in order to have more ‘time’ to do what you think needs to be done?

that long, possibly unidentified (you’ll know it when you see it, like pornography) list of things you’d like to do, if only you had more time.

if only i had more time, i’d read all of the blog posts i subscribe to and comment on them.

if only i had more time,  i would have refinished the wooden patio furniture that is in desperate need of sanding and staining.

if only i had more time, there would be no rogue grass growing in the east garden flower beds. (a note: a few years ago, in a moment of what i thought was brilliant forethought, i spread wood mulch all over the east garden. the following year, grass — not lawn grass, but clumpy-weedy grass — carpeted the garden, growing up between the day lilies, by the thorny bottom branches of the roses, around the sharp edges of the succulents, between the rocky borders, every-fucking-where. since then, it has become the bane of my gardening existence. if only i had more time.)

if only i had more time, i would have more money. as we all know, the less time you have, the less money you have. the wealthy have all the time in the world, why even one of the mitford sisters said that she refrained from using an airmail stamp (remember those?) because it indicated she was in a rush, which someone of her wealth and social standing would never, ever be. that’s left to us poor schmucks, rushing around, always in a hurry, because we don’t have enough time.

if only i had more time, i wouldn’t have to stop writing this post to get ready for ____, because you know, if only i had more time, i could finish everything i started.


roses (and rhetorical questions)

1. why didn’t i have my camera with me this morning on the dog walk when the sunrise was so spectacularly ‘maxfield parrish‘-ish?

2. why am i such a nervous nelly this morning? my spidey-senses are all a-tingle.

3. what does’ his ‘knock-on-the-door‘ dream mean?

4. what is a whiter shade of pale?

5. why am i not rich, wealthy, comfortably well-off?


first paragraphs (and passionate kisses*)

here are two of my favorite first paragraphs** (or first paragraphs from a few of my favorite novels/short stories). it could be that these first paragraphs***  were what caught my attention at the bookstore and made me buy the book; it’s even possible i bought the book without reading the first paragraph (or any part of the book), buying it instead based on the reputation of the author to entertain me or because they were recommended by someone whose opinion i trust (of course that has its own pitfalls, reading being as personal as it is, “oh robert, i just know you’ll love this book,” as they press it into your hands and it turns out to be the worst thing you’ve ever put before your eyes, but you feel obligated to slog through it, so you do and eventually you forgive your friend/acquaintance as your brain works to bury the memory of reading the last novel by ______  _____________.)

“The sea is high again today, with a thrilling flush of wind. In the midst of winter you can feel the inventions of Spring. A sky of hot nude pearl until midday, crickets in sheltered places, and now the wind unpacking the great planes, ransacking the great planes….”  –Lawrence Durrell, “Justine”

“Something terrible happened.

“They are watching it on the screen with their after-dinner coffee cups beside them. It is Bosnia or Somalia or the earthquake shaking a Japanese island between apocalyptic teeth like a dog; whatever were the disasters of that time. When the intercom buzzes each looks at the other with a friendly reluctance; you go, your turn. It’s part of the covenant of living together. They made the decision to give up the house and move into this townhouse complex with grounds maintained and security-monitored entrance only recently and they are not yet accustomed, or rather are inclined momentarily to forget that it’s not the barking of Robbie and the old-fangled ring of the front door bell that summons them, now. No pets allowed in the complex, but luckily there was the solution that theirs could go to their son who has a garden cottage.”  –Nadine Gordimer, “The House Gun”

*the name of the roses featured in the photographs

**in some cases there will be two paragraphs. (because it’s my blog and i’ll do as i please.)

***this may become a series as the mood strikes me.



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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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