Monday, August 23, 2010

Flowered Walls Update

On second thought I have grown to appreciate the arch at the Botanic Garden, though I still don't care for the totem pole. Both have grown in since the photos I took to illustrate the original story, where I expressed (personal--but then, nu?) doubts  about the attractiveness of the structures.

The structures are still an issue, the wood is so ...raw; reminding me of a hippie cabin in Crested Butte circa 1972, when goats and chickens ran amok in the streets...and there was a heated debate over installing a traffic signal at THE intersection...

The totem still has something of that feel -- the wood too exposed and the structure too chunky for grace.

But with the arch, or arches (I believe I failed to mention that there are two), the plants and vines have massed to splendidly tropical effect. Get close up and stand at an angle to the path and one can imagine that wandering through will deposit you in some paradise...where monkeys frolic and bananas and coconuts and pineapples and pina coladas hang from trees.

The sad truth is you're only accessing a traffic circle. It's in front of the Capitol so if you look up the view is... not the usual kind of thing one comes across. But if you look straight ahead, it's a bunch of cars.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Window Box Emergency Surgery

This has not been the best year for my window boxes. The potato vine has taken off most grandly--those in the lower boxes are brushing the porch floor and the upstairs boxes drip nearly to the tops of the downstairs windows.

Not My House
The geraniums, however, are being stubborn, waiting for cooler weather when they will begin blooming magnificently ... just in time to be yanked for the winter. What's most colorful are the red berry branches that I stuck in last Christmas. As they're phony, this stands to reason. 

The window boxes in these first two photos are -- gallingly -- not mine. I came upon them yesterday while cruising Georgetown for a parking space. Well, technically, Alice was cruising and I was staring out the window. This made it possible, when we came across this house on 32nd Street, near where it intersects with Q, for her to pull over any whichwhere and me to hop out and take pictures with no fear of gendarme interactions.
Not My House Either

These boxes are fabulous, if stupidly simple. There ain't much else here but common begonia and caladium. But the effect is spectacular.

I imagine they get more water than mine do, since there's not much of a roof overhang to shield them.

Oh, who am I fooling. Clearly, someone takes care of the damn things, cheaply planted (sniff) as they are.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lazy Plants

Flowering walls are not the only wonders at the Botanic Garden this summer. There's something ticklish about plants lazing in hammocks at the foot of the U.S. Capitol. Besides the humor, it's a clever way to top the garden...when one is torn, perhaps, between heirloom tomatoes and flowers--and space forbids the inclusion of both

However. The fully loaded weight of these hanging planters must mean the pylons supporting them are anchored in China.

On Flowered Walls

Next year -- is it time for daydreaming about that already? -- I would like the garage to look like this, minus the turret and pointed roof. And the windows. And, since I would have no room for color, the color.

Not that those things wouldn't be pleasant to include...and now that I think of it, the garage does have a door and that shade of blue just zings doesn't it?

And a turret would be very nice.

Not the kind of turret where I let down my hair and the prince climbs up (wince) with a pitcher of martinis and perhaps a cheese platter...but a turret with soggy old arm chair and a hassock where I can hide away and read and snooze--after I haul up the ladder to keep the prince the hell out of my hair.

If it's Saturday, he can call me when it's time to take me out to dinner.

Have I digressed. Right oh...

That's baby in the picture (the one that occasionally snarkles after a blog entry). A  fine piece of work, isn't she?

The floriferous structure she's indicating is at the U.S. Botanic Garden, the greenhouse at the foot of Capitol Hill. The facade is covered with a plastic grid and each of its chambers is filled with potting soil and then plugged with brilliantly colored coleus and begonias and a variety of fast growing vines, some green and some spotted with bits of pink and burgundy.

They've massed and twined into this flowery fairytale. And I want it, which is not surprising as I'm exceptionally greedy. But I'd probably kill it since it appears to need a fabulous degree of watering and pruning; tasks that I'm alternately enthusiastic and apathetic about. And when I'm busy being apathetic things tend to shrivel.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ugly Garden III (Or is it Four?)

This utterly enchanting Edwardian on a gloriously leafy Capitol Hill Street is as bewitching as a Anne Rice novel--move in today and start the seance tonight!

Sing it! Who do that voodoo that you do to me....

(Oh to write the real estate brochure for this house, which is one of the things I do when I'm not blogging).

Taking this place to task almost --almost--makes me feel mean (also a little scared). Clearly there's been great thought in its creation. Expense, too.

And the labor involved in keeping all of the white rocks and statuary clean (pristine, if I revert to real estate mode). Surrounded by bushes and shaded by deciduous trees, maintenance must be a constant task.

The smooth glass bits arrayed as an offering to the lovebirds must themselves require constant buffing. They also stud the rock bed, glittering in sea colors. Turquoise. Green.

Contemplate, for an instant, getting the smutz out of the cherub's fat folds.

How could you even walk in there to clean without leaving a dingy trail?  

At any season of the year the splendors of this garden can be witnessed.  Here we are in summer mode, rocks like bleached bones in a New Orleans graveyard. Remind me to post the Halloween version. Christmas, as would be expected, is entirely over the top. So many times have I passed by and marveled.

And I've never seen a soul go in. Or out.

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