Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reviving Timmy

This morning I am moved to resurrecting my fallow blog by the sad state of Timmy, which is some kind of green plant I've been nursing for more than 20 years.

I digress here for a moment because last night, over Cotelleta Milanese at Trattoria, The Prince suggested "we" do more with gardening; proposing togetherness work wherein I would design gardens and he would -- under my direction -- execute the execution.

Anyone that has been around me and my beloved over the last 3 decades will instantly realize the ludicrousness of this suggestion. Beyond that, while I am capable of making something out of nothing -- which I will shortly demonstrate -- I can rarely identify the nothing I'm making something of. For example, and to return to the topic, whatever kind of plant Timmy is.

Here is Timmy not looking at all well. Timmy is named for his original owner, a lovely guy who died of AIDs and was part of a children's theatre troupe I once traipsed around with. When Tim passed away, Susan took his plant, and passed it to me when she moved to L.A. It was green and lovely then, and has been on occasion since.

But I am currently in my Grand Urn period and so I transplanted Timmy from where he was happily ensconced in his original cracked turquoise plastic pot (that cunningly replicated porcelain) to this fabulous, if also cracked, lead planter that Maggie was about to discard when she moved to a condo.  I don't know if it is the urn or if he prefers plastic, but he is not looking at all well.

So this morning, as such things go, Amazon emailed me a reminder that I have Bringing Nature Home: Floral Arrangements Inspired by Nature by Ngoc Minh Ngo, Deborah Needleman, and Nicolette Owen on my wish list. And I sighed, because I really want this book but am not going to spring for $28.84 (what kind of price IS that?) even if it is discounted from the original $45 list.

And I felt the tingle of inspiration -- if I can't have the book I'll go find something natural and arrange something floral myself.

Timmy was directly in my sight lines. 

Here's what I gathered between home and Harris Teeter-- a few branches from a fallen tree, some interesting brownish pods, a couple of twigs from a money plant that had been knocked down (no doubt) by either the postal person or someone's dog, a few twigs of crepe myrtle that would otherwise be strangled by marauding morning glory (a public service), a few interesting weeds from the alley, and some ivy off of our own fence.

Much of this stuff can be jabbed directly into the soil and will stay for some weeks, as long as I remember to water, but some of the more tender snippets could use more intensive hydration. Those plastic rose holders with the rubbery caps work well for this (they also help support floppier and more fragile branches).

I abruptly find myself in blogging trouble. I have foolishly counted on my memory and actual photographic evidence of this project to guide my tale -- and I have never-the-less forgotten what I did with what, and pretty much when. Ah well. We proceed higgledy piggledy. I did at least number the photos. Most of them.

 I do recall looking at the pot and deciding I had rather a large gap at the back on the left. So I stuck a branch of the fluffy alley weed in there, and added a smaller bunch at the right rear for a little balance.  The crepe myrtle, installed in their little water holders were stuck in left and right as well.

Those brownish pods were already dried and had firm stems, so they provide a happy explosion on the left and a smaller pop on the right. This left right thing has to do -- if you'll refer to example A, which is not marked -- with the fact that Timmy has been, understandably, reaching for the window and therefore is a little undernourished on one side. What we are doing is compensating for this drift, which could also (eventually) be corrected by turning the plant around.  

If  you squint, you'll notice there are some straggly brown bits dripping over the lip of the pot. Another person might neatly trim them away (and show you a photo of the clippers, glinting on a pristine white background). Instead, I draped some ivy and other viney things directly over them for an effect not unlike the bump it, which gives height to the hair (as seen on TV, and also (once) in our living room, thanks to a gift from baby).

Having depleted my supply of scavenged stuff and never one to leave well enough alone, I rummaged in the bar cabinet drawers and found some bunches of little rubber grapes (doesn't everyone have these?) and dangled them from the urn's handles.

And for a smidge more color, I tossed in some wandering jew pinched from a pot on the back porch and jammed the stems right into the dirt where they will root and grow quite fabulously. Note to self: I really should have done this long ago.

 Plugging one last hole...a branch of hydrangea from the vase on the dining table

Voila! Timmy


Now over the next week or two some of these bit and pieces will dry in place, which is fine. Others will shrivel and begin to look unpleasant and if I'm feeling energetic I'll replace them. Timmy, in the meantime, will continue doing what he does, struggle for life on the dining room bar, albeit more grandly than he was earlier today. 


  1. Stephanie, I'm glad that you have resurrected your blog . . . and Timmy!

    1. Timmy and I both thank you for the visit Chad! S

  2. I forgot about Timmy!!! (the plant, not the person) -- he does, indeed, look grand. I bet he won't have to struggle. This is such a huge transformation, he'll probably spring back to life. (again - sadly, the plant, not the person). Timmy himself (the person, not the plant), would have absolutely loved this. Keep writing!

  3. One of my collection of totems. Sometimes sad but lovely reminders. Glad you think Tim (the person) would appreciate this...

  4. I like that you fully recognize that Timmy is desperately reaching for the window, and rather than turning him around or moving him closer, you've surrounded him with flotsam from the near reaches of Kentucky Avenue.

  5. turning him requires so much effort -- and waiting. but i appreciate your observation.


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