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.)

Remember the Alamo...

I hope you haven't forgotton about this dear plant. Seeds anyone? Because there are seed pods out the wahzoo, just hanging there, looking like any moment they might fly away to seed pod land. Where everyone loves them, no one wants to be rid of them. Where all is wild and peaceful and no seed pod is ever harmed in order to clear cut a privacy fence.

Other Lovers of the Copper Canyon Daisy

You see... I am not the only one enamored here. These babies are attracting all manner of adoring creatures. And check out the pollen on that bees legs! Dang! If only we had started Glenn's bee hive project we'd have some super drunk bees going home from work every evening. I bet the honey production would be through the roof.

Eyes on the Eggplant!

Which do you like better? The egg or the plant? Both are VERY satisfying to look at I must say. And hey, wouldn't it be fun to get deep purple eggs (without the dye)? And maybe they would come from pale pinkish-violet chickens, that would look so pretty pecking in your yard....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Birth of Zen

O.k. here it is, but remember it is just the beginning.... these things take time, especially as one person is digging up the grass and toting the pea gravel from the car.... So picture pretty flagstones leading in a curvy attractive way from the SEA-ment path in the left corner over to, and around the pebbly oasis, and between the bamboo and the ornamental grass..., and there will soon be some cacti of some sort or another in there, and hopefully some bigger rocks to add texture and shape.
Oh, I can see it all now, clear as a bell, in my mind's eye. If only someone would take some kind of syringe and suction it out of my brain and squirt it out into the yard. (Now there is a creepy image for you!)
p.s. the grass I planted is called 'bamboo muhli', and is supposed to be evergreen. We'll see.

Golden Glory, the sequel

Sorry to bore you with more of these drops of golden sunshine, but look at them! I think I'm in love. Click to enlarge the pictures, and check out the amazing mass of curls in the center of each circle of petal perfection. They are in their glory right now. And to think I was about to pull them all up by the roots.

The Owl came back....

The owl came back, the very next week. We thought he was a goner, but the owl. came. back.
Very exciting. Just like before, he has been there all afternoon. I don't think he is thrilled that I am taking this picture, but he is going to have to get used to that if he plans on sticking around. We are wondering if this is his weekend gettaway though, as he seemed to be gone all week...hmmm. I know we have an extremely spa-like garden, so I guess it is a possibility. Or maybe he has been there all along but during the week he's all business, and he doesn't like to hang out of the box.