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“When jarred, unavoidably, by circumstances, revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better group harmony if you keep going back to it.”

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

…or in other words….

“I feel better when I’m dancin’! Yeah, Yeah!”

-Meghan Trainor

 

Dancing on the Beach 3

~*~

My little world has changed a lot since my last post. And the big world has too. One thing that hasn’t changed is my obsession with plants and flowers.  I’m still doing weird stuff like this…

Garden Journal

That’s my garden journal and bed mapping system.

There is a newly-tilled bed out front that I’ve mounded for a “Three Sisters” garden. I seeded it over the weekend with corn. This is my first serious experiment with a sisters garden. I will keep you posted on further developments.

In other news: nearly eight years ago, a friend gave me a small prickly, pokey yucca plant. A few weeks ago, quite unexpectedly – KAPOW! – this happened…

Yucca Bloom

For the first time ever she bloomed a stalk of soft white blossoms nestled in her fortress of spikes. It seems my yucca is not a little girl anymore. I kind of/sort of knew yuccas could bloom because my grandmother, Kiki, had a couple yuccas in her back yard and one year they bloomed unexpectedly.  Kiki was all beside herself about it in a way that I didn’t understand then, but that I totally get now.  It strikes me as odd that some part of me held this memory seed below the murky waters of consciousness. When I received this plant as a gift, I knew it was special. I also knew without looking it up that the plant was a yucca – just as well as I knew my own name, because that’s what Kiki taught me.  But somehow this plant needed to show its petals for the details of the memory to fully bloom in my own awareness and understanding.

The lamb’s ear in the sensory garden is also doing a new stalk-bloomy thing that it has never done before…

 

 

Lambs ear

 

How can you not love this plant’s architecture?  Just look at the symmetry, the geometry, and the texture! Every time I pass this bed, I want to jump in and roll around in it…which reminds me: I have sweet nothings to whisper into the little lamb’s ear.  Until next time!

when he brings you a bouquet of wildflowers and a hungry bee.

flowers and bee

 

@~~’~,~~~

 


 

tulip

The first financial bubble on written record occurred in the Netherlands in the 17th century, as Tulipmania swept over Holland.  During the peak of speculation, a single tulip bulb cost more than an average home.  Bulbs for “broken” tulips, like Semper Augustus and the Viceroy,  were very hot commodities and went for a fortune. A broken tulip had a striking pop of color that contrasted the base hue of the flower’s petals.  The color break was caused by a mosaic virus (of all things), spread by myzus persicae, a type of aphid.  The infection weakened the bulb and slowed the plant’s propagation.  This is why varieties like Semper Augustus and the Viceroy no longer exist. When an outbreak of the plague prevented a bulb auction, a cascading effect of other cancellations rippled outward, which eventually lead to a collapse in the market in Holland.  Many tulip traders went bankrupt.

“…any tulip thus changing its original colour is usually ruined afterwards and so wanted only to delight its master’s eyes with this variety of colours before dying, as if to bid him a last farewell.” 

–Carlus Clusius, Botanist

Today,  the tulips that have a broken effect are cultivated without the virus. These flowers are known a “Rembrandt tulips,” after the artist.  You can see a broken tulip in Rembrandt’s portrait of his wife painted as Flora, the Roman goddess of Spring and flowers.

I was inspired to plant the orange lovelies pictured above late last November after reading Michael Pollan’s chapter “The Tulip” in his book The Botany of Desire.  As Pollan put it:

“…the wayward color loosed on a tulip by a good break perfected the flower, even as the virus responsible set about destroying it.”

–Michael Pollan

crocus

“Like the crocus that pushes into spring willy-nilly, the artist also pushes forward into growth. The crocus lies beneath the snow waiting for the slightest touch of warmth to spring forth. Like the crocus, the artist does not pause to ask if his work is timely or welcome.  Critical reception will perhaps be chilly like an unseasonal snow, but like the crocus, the artist survives.”

–Julia Cameron, Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance

 

May you be safe and healthy and continue pushing forward into growth.

The earth flower and sky flower unite.

Butterfly in the Garden

Suffering should be creative…(it) should give birth to something good and lovely. 

–Chinua Achebe

Darkest before Dawn is a theme I have in the works for a yoga class. Aspects of the playlist and sequencing are coming together as depicted below.

Darkest Before Dawn

Beyond that, I’ve been pruning the Rose of Sharon and the crepe myrtles, cutting back the monkey grass, planting spider lily and crocus bulbs, repotting the amaryllis.  And there were more rescued flowers. Does gardening count as creative work?

flowers

I vote yes.

There was also banana pudding with the custardy pudding made from scratch.  I followed a recipe, so I’m as not sure if that qualifies as “creative.”  But I stirred that pot for half an hour of my life and the ingredients transformed into something beyond what matter I started with, so that counts as alchemy, right? And it was magically delicious.

Once upon a long time ago (a couple hundred million years ago according to evolutionary biologists),  there were no flowers.  And darkness was upon the face of the deep (according to other authors of ancient history).

Then suddenly flowers came into being.

Thank goodness.

“Flowers changed everything.”

–Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire

Indeed.  

flowers on the table

Fast forwarding to the present: I found these beauties suffocating in a cheap cellophane cocoon and stuffed in the discount bin at the grocery store. They cleaned up quite nicely.

Yesterday while reading about the history of tulips in Michael Pollan’s book, The Botany of Desire,  I was overcome by the urgent need to plant the iris bulbs that have been sitting in the sunroom for over a month.  Now Raptor Red and Dangerous Mood are tucked in their beds for the winter and I hope to meet them in all their frilly glory this spring.

 

Tumbling-hair

              picker of buttercups

                                                 violets

dandelions

And the big bullying daisies

                                  through the field wonderful

with eyes a little sorry

Another comes

                         also picking flowers

–e.e. cummings

iris 2

 

roses2

journal

It’s been a busy spring filled with seeds sewn and flowers bursting. Seeds were planted in so many places I can’t keep track of it all in spite of my journaling,  mapping, and labeling.  I get impatient. If a seed doesn’t sprout within a few days a different seed gets popped into the same tray.  Nature has her own rhythm and won’t be rushed.  Suddenly there are multiple things growing from the same cell.  I am no longer sure what’s what.  The rain has washed away the ink from my labels.  The garden will be full of surprises.

Life is not all fuzzy sprouts, sweet-scented petals, and swirling cursive. The concrete spillway leading from the pond collapsed and caved in from erosion over the last few years. It needed immediate attention.  Hours upon hours were spent in the pit with mud in my hair, in my ears, and under what was left of my jagged fingernails.  Digging rocks from the mud and moving them from here to there is prison work, I tell you! Then there was the construction on the learning garden and the hauling of poop from here to there.  It is almost complete.  So worth it to see he beans already beginning their ascent to the top of their tee-pees.  I can’t wait to show you!  Until next time…

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