Saturday, October 16, 2010

Near Instantanious Follow-up

Hot on the hoofs of the previous posting I ordered five of these 7 inchers (which i was assured are about the size of cantaloupes and will look divine stuffed into the center of the window boxes and covered in itty bitty white lights).
Off to find five sticks.

And Now! A Matching Backdrop for your Dumpster

Last year, at almost exactly this time, I wrote about a brilliant invention/construction of the divine Diana McLellan (who I seem to be devoting a lot of ink or type or whatnot/words to at present) -- a cunning trash can cover constructed of fake ivy.

Today, peering mournfully at my window boxes (picture Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, this is just how I looked, minus a few clippers). ONCE AGAIN I have a death, or four to be precise. Five window boxes, four dead spikes. One survives and is so perky despite exactly the same care (or lack thereof) that I suspect it's a succubus (or plantibus) draining the energy from the others in the night.

Halloween is coming.

So, obviously and immediately it occurred that I must sit down at the computer, blast Alejandro, and research fake boxwood.

Somewhere very early on and a down a twisted trail in this blog is an entry about my window box/real boxwood miseries. And something about some wimpy fakes that I discovered and that are now tangled somewhere under the back porch.

How much easier it is to buy new. Isn't it? Besides there's more of a thrill in wresting something from a nice clean box vs wresting it from under a mud encrusted rubber boot.

Anyway, I plonked Fake Boxwood into Google and voila! I find a fake boxwood hedge on the blog of a kindred spirit named Megan who lives in Portland and says she is "afflicted with zone denial," living in zone 8 but planting like it's zone 9, which is a familiar affliction.

I realize this has nothing to do with a boxwood centerpiece for my window boxes. Nor does it have anything to do with Diana's fake ivy trash can cover--other than it all being fabulously and most genuinely fake, of which there is just too damn little in this world.

Anyway anyway, here's herself on her hedge:

 That’s right, a fake boxwood hedge

MADesigns fake boxwood hedge
I’m not a big fan of boxwood, or hedges, or fake plants, but you put them all together, and you have a winner. (?) Or at least the MADesigns custom hedges were put to good use in the May 2008 Domino Magazine story about San Francisco designer Stephen Shubel’s new studio.

Fake boxwood hedge

So I started thinking about all Stephen (I call him Stephen) and I have in common, and why I too should have a fake boxwood hedge. He buys some things at IKEA, I buy everything some things at IKEA. He has an eyesore chain link fence to cover up, I have an eyesore chain link fence. He is a rich San Francisco designer who can afford custom fake hedges and probably gets a discount because he’s in the biz, I… wait. OK, that’s where the similarities end. But it’s an interesting idea anyway."
Megan's very clever site is:

Now back to my research............

Friday, October 15, 2010

Spare the Fringe Spoil the Soul

Some months ago I decided to become strict with myself. Enough with the tassels, the fringes, the fussery.

PAH! On the feather trim around Suzanne's lampshades and the lust it inspired! SPARE IT DOWN I declared.

And get rid of the dark while you're at it, I added. Brighten up fer God's sake. The whole damn house has become beyond excessive. Not sweet like some spread in Victorian Homes (heaven forbid) with the potpourri and scented candles--but run amok with dusty stuff.

I wasn't imagining Le Corbusier or van der Rohe or Eames...much as I'd like to imagine myself living in minimalist perfection. Perhaps with an opera in the background. I merely urged a bit more Indiana Jones. Broken-in leather and books and threadbare orientals, of which I have plenty.

And maybe one tassel. Just demonstrate my noble discipline and restraint.

[How understanding I am of me, I was thinking. So sensitive to my foibles!]

So I stripped away flourish after frip and was JUST beginning to breath when I came across -- or more precisely, the equally dust-loving Diana McLellan came across and then posted to Facebook--this paean to fabulousness:

A Boldini found moldering in a Paris flat. 
More precisely, said the UK paper The Telegraph:
" untouched, cobweb-filled flat in Paris' 9th arrondissement...

One expert said it was like stumbling into the castle of 
Sleeping Beauty,
where time had stood still since 1900."

...and I felt a gurgle in my throat and my eyes lurched about wildly for stashed away tassels. Clearly, I was once again sinking.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Not My Problem!!

Happy to report that I'm not the only garden person that allows a plant to get out of control because something interesting might occur (which sometimes happens and sometimes does not). Washington Post columnist Barbara Damrosch did just that this summer with nasturiums and it was a little bit of both (which sometimes happens and sometimes does not):  
Nasturtiums on the Loose

By Barbara Damrosch
Thursday, October 14, 2010;
It was a great beginning. The row of Alaska nasturtiums I'd planted made a tidy border along the outside of our home greenhouse, the "compact, mound-shaped plants," as the catalogue described them, perfectly filling the foot-wide bed. Alaska is a variety with large flowers in great shades of butter yellow, orange, red and mahogany, on long pickable stems. Even the foliage is pretty, spattered with white markings. And they're edible: the flowers, the peppery leaves and even the round seed pods that you can pickle as a substitute for capers.

As summer wore on we took to leaving the greenhouse door open every day to ventilate the crop of trellised tomatoes inside, and a strange thing happened. The nasturtiums started to creep over the door sill and make themselves at home inside. "Let's leave them," I said to my husband. "They're cute."

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