Thursday, December 30, 2010

Invasion of the Rebounder

Well. There you have it. This is what happens when you try and share your Eden. Be warned. Children are evil and should have been chucked out of the garden along with the first offending couple.
Time and again it is proven to me that everyone's idea of the perfect Eden is very different. I guess the only protection is to interview all potential sharers of the space very carefully to see if their Edenish views correspond with one's own.
Question 1: Are you likely to want to introduce some God-awful big clunky red metal thing into my Eden? Answer: Yes. Out you go then.
Question 2: Are you going to cut beautiful vines off the ugly fence? Answer: yes. Well stay on your side then, ya Cretin.
You get the picture.


Okay, here we are, back in the world of mild weather, no snow, but a very wintry and uninspiring looking garden. Plus the garden has been invaded by the ball kicking child, and is fast getting it's yearly winter-trampled look.

However, as I drive around I keep seeing these pretty trees, with very festive white berries, and in the fall they had such bright, red-orange leaves that looked ever so nice WITH the berries, and now the berries just look like a slight dusting of snow in our snowless world. SO... I want one.

SO, my blogalicious friends... please identify!
Thank you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

(Not Texas, Part 1) Winter at the Bird Feeder and a Christmas Bird

The feeder seemed abandoned. I think the bird decided to disguise itself as an ornament and escape inside to the warm.

(Not Texas Part 2) Snowy Night on a Toronto Street

Another cheeky poltergeist (clearly related to that other summer poltergeist), who should have been in bed because it is a school night.... is instead out frolicing in the newly falling snow.

(Not Texas Part 3) Wishful Thinking...

I wish I could grow orchids in my living room, like the ones my mother has in her house. Their grace is hard to describe. You can only look and absorb.

That's not Texas! (part 4)

The beauty of a Canadian winter. Cold, Cold, COLD! And see, the seed pods are still handsome in the north, and ever so debonair in their crystalline top hats.

That's not Texas! (part 5)

Far from our sunny climes down here in Texas is my old bedroom window, recently revisited and enjoyed in all its icy splendour.

Monday, December 6, 2010

T'is the Season

As the Christmas season becomes a frenzied whirlwind of activites, garden blogging drifts into the back seat of daily importance. The garden looks wintry cold-bitten and somewhat abandoned, which it is. I tried to make the baby cactus feel more festive, but I think it would prefer a different kind of attention.
The garden may have been ignored lately, but we have a MIGHTY FINE chimney now (after hours and HOURS of unbelievably tedious priming and painting, AND the forking over of untold amounts of cash to siding repair guys), which I am sure Santa will appreciate. One does have to prioritize after all.
Well, I will be back (after a quick trip to the (snowy, I'm told) Canadian North), and then get ready for the fantasy portion of the blog!! You might wonder what that will entail, well..... if nothing is happening in the yard.... I may just have to pretend.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Archimedes Enjoys the Sun

Archimedes decided to sun himself peacefully on Saturday afternoon, and wasn't even perturbed by the clicking of cameras capturing his presence. He really seemed to enjoy the afternoon warmth. I wonder if he minded the cold snap we had... I know he has a down coat but still, it must get chilly in that box.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Dance of the Dolichos

The seed pods of the Dolichos continue the dance even when they have withered from their deep purple glory to a shriveled brown....

Actually, quite a lot of dancing goes on in the garden, once you start to look for it.

Muhli Suspension

Obviously I am getting a lot of mileage from these Cedar Elm leaves... but I like how it is just hanging there, caught by the grass. More perfect autumn colour.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gone to Seed

When no one tends to the Arugula and the Basil, this is what happens. What a shame.

Bloomin' Rosemary

Rosemary flowers are so small, I don't think they get looked at up close much. They are just seen as a little festive bit of sky-blue misting the top of the plant on occasion. They are pretty ornate though. And actually look a little bit like a snake with its mouth wide open and fangs at the ready.... Yeah, I know, I go for plants that have an aura of danger around them.

Look at the dark blue at the tips of the stamens. Nice, eh?

Yikes! Does it Bite??

It looks a bit like one of those weird, scary underwater creatures that is going to swim up and bite you in the dark. But it is really the top of the plant I am most worried about as the temperatures begin to drop ominously in the evening.... my tall cactus at the bottom of the garden. I was told I should dig it up and bring it in in the winter, but that is not going to happen. So, I hope I can succesfully drape it so that it will live to scare another year.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh, Be still my Heart

Sometimes a photo will just fill me to the brim. How great is this plant! I know, I know, it has appeared before, but that was before I knew how to make the fonts different sizes, shapes and colours. And who wouldn't want to look at this sweet, fluffy flower over and over anyway?!

Melia Azedarach, or White Cedar

I am not sure what it is about me and poisonous plants, but I have been admiring these trees, which are all over the place, and which look like autumn treesonified, but when I looked them up, well wouldn't you know it, the little clusters of sweet-looking, dried-apple-like fruit are poisionous. I guess one shouldn't recommend that a grove of them be planted in a preschool playgound.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Owl Report

We saw the owl again this afternoon. But he seems to be feeling a little self-conscious, because twice I went out to try and get his picture, and both times he disappeared inside the box just as I got under the tree. I believe I heard a little hoot of displeasure the first time I tried.
So either he is feeling particularly grumpy right now, or our owl has decided to get all camera-shy on us. Well, harumph to that, I say.
But it makes me wonder if all those afternoons that we saw no sign of him he was actually there! Interesting.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I want one.... A Golden Raintree

I have been admiring these around town, and at this time of year I always wish I had one. I love the soft pink paper lanterns. They are so pretty against the sky.

The Slug Plant Bloomed.

Well, here it is. And in keeping with the general sluggliness of the plant, the bloom is fairly grotesque too. Fascinating, yes. But pretty? No beauty pageants to be won here, I'm afraid. And you have to click to enlarge this one, so as to fully appreciate the shiny, gelatinous center, and the gnobbly, tiger-stripped cat's tongue petals. And do you see the crinkly edge around the center section. Nature sure is weird sometimes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Catching Fire...

Three stages of Mexican Firebush: First the sweet orangy bells, then they wither and drop, and leave reddish berries, and finally the berries turn a really dark, purply black... see?
Now just wait for the leaves to turn all red too and the fire will be fully stoked!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Falling Leaves and Allergies: Is there a connection?

The Cedar Elm leaves look very picturesque in the Artemisia. But, is it possible that these self-same adorable leaves currently detaching themselves from the mother-ship, could account for the total, body-shuddering sneezes I am currently experiencing at an alarmingly frequent rate, such that I feel I can empathize with what people who have petit mal seizures must go through....????
Then damn their buccolic, fall beauty.

Phase Two

Phase Two involves moving stuff from other places in the garden into the Oasis....
The spiky cactus looks adorable in pea gravel, and take note of the flat cactus (stolen property no less: snapped off someone's cactus by the road side. I hope it survives)

Would you like some froth with that Muhli?

So far.... very happy. (Me and the muhli I think.)

Season of Mists...

Ode To Autumn
by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cell.

My favorite poem of all time,
forever and ever, amen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blog Bounty or Blog Overdose: you decide

I found refuge and solace in the garden today. When the rest of the world seems just a bit much, focusing on the minutae of life can be very soothing. I tried to capture some of what I saw and then of course, I had to share the details. SO, as you can see, there is a bountiful blog harvest today.... and I would be willing to admit that it may cause indigestion if consumed at one sitting. It might be well to space out the viewing so as to avoid any feelings of bloating or nausea. But, maybe there will be something in there that will bring wonder to you, too. (And after you wonder, the next question is why? and then, put it all together and say, "I wonder why there are so many weeds in her garden?") (Maybe she should put down the camera and pull some of them)Ha.

Blue Daze

I had to show this photo because it is so interesting for so many reasons....
First the flower, just starting to open, looks like crepe paper. Second, the stem is REALLY hairy! And thirdly, there is the added bonus of a passing seed resting temporarily, before being borne aloft again by the most amazing, dancing, hair-like wisps of silk, so that it looks almost alive. Check THAT out.

Sluggish Succulent

I have a hard time with this plant because, to me, it looks like a slug. And I don't like slugs. But as you can see it is about to put out a flower. And I DO like flowers. So I am waiting to see if it will win me over....

Weird Veggie Patch

So here it is, a little skewed and listing in places. But thank god it contains the vegetables.. You can see the cabbage, and cauliflower, and Kale and Brussel Sprouts, and Broccoli... (Although I think we maybe still at single serving status with these.)