Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Beyond Flowers -- Decorating the Dying Garden

It is once again the time of year when summer and fall collide; when young ladies slosh forth in knee high boots and tank tops in 80 degree heat.

This is also the time of year when one must consider the Annual Demise of the Garden: the molding of the zinnias, the wincing of the cherry tree leaves, the withering of the potato vine. That sort of thing.

And are we then to wait for next spring for some measure of garden jollity?

Nyet, I say, exercising the extent of my Russian.

It is time to purpose and repurpose items that can cheer the border between now and then. The happy rooster above vibrates against the yellow house.

Don't tell the owner, who probably paid a fortune for it, but I recently saw a similar piece in the, um, statuary section of Slendy's of Culpeper, my favorite junque shoppe. (Years of junking and no Renoir. Where's the fairness in this I ask you.)

Monday, September 24, 2012


I am about to provide you with some foresight. Yay. Something useful for a change.

Remember this from several posts back?

old news

The garden witch at Eastern Market swore that this $20 (gag) bunch of jolly green poofs would last me three weeks.  It did not.  We just passed two weeks and I have discarded all but one branch and that one branch has a few sad pendules suspenduled and, you might note, these are beginning to seep a silky fuzz from barely visible cracks.

close up of fuzzy stuff

The worst of it happened late last week, when the branches now discarded exploded behind the sofa and I carefully lifted them from the vase and tiptoed with them to the kitchen sink as fairy fluffs flew off floating (sorry-- say that three times fast) themselves in the shimmering dust that is the air in the living room.

AND THEN THEY WENT INSANE, sticking to the damp of the kitchen sink and the towels I attempted to use to mop them up and spraying the counter along with the this and that I keep about and catching in my hair and my clothes and my f-ing contact lenses, you should pardon my French. We will be eating this stuff for days. I now stick to serving white foods.

I thought as I cursed and dusted and mopped that I should really take a photo of this for the blog because it is ridiculous and a perfect example of how things go wrong with my tidy little life that seems so genius and self-satisfied at some moments and then laughs hysterically as I flail about. 

Living is a treacherous thing to do. You never know. You just never never know.

Do you realize I seldom edit myself? That is an aside. It is also why you find commas and such in strange places.

Anyway, to resume, we are down to a few of these poof balls, a sorry display that is now seeping and about to explode one final time and I hope I remember not to buy these things (which I still don't know the name of) ever ever again.

They did look pretty though, didn't they?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Homestead Gardens. A Blog Fragment is Unearthed.

The first time I visited Homestead Gardens I was very very stoned.

This made me fearful of ever revisiting the garden center in Davidsonville, Maryland because I was certain that what I'd been seeing was an illusion, like wandering onto Mothra's Technicolor set or, to un-date myself, the 3-D deliciousness of Pandora.

Note: I was, of course, stoned against my will. There I was, just trying to sell Brucie a newspaper ad, and he foisted brilliant weed upon me. So please, what was I to do?  The family needs to eat.

So there we were, zonked and fuzz-brained on a gorgeous late spring afternoon and he says, "Let's go for a drive. I want to show you this place..."

Clearly, nothing of substance was going to happen during the rest of the day, and this was kind of work, wasn't it? So I said, suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure. And we swiffered ourselves into the car and somehow managed to get to Davidsonville without killing ourselves or anyone else.

And Whoa Nelly, the heady assault of the tropicals hits first, the freshness of orange and tangerine and lime mingling with an old-lady honey whiff of gardenia. Near overwhelming sweetness tamed by jasmine's earthy rot. Inter-cut the scents with florescent colored....
Fragment's end. Florescent colored WHAT? I wonder where I was headed with this potentially interesting posting....

Upon a more sober visit, I can say that Homestead Gardens was pretty much as wonderful as it appeared in my initial cockeyed condition. Some years later, however, it's less inspired. Still worth a visit, which I do with some frequency, but missing the extravagant fabulousness the place once possessed. I wonder what has changed?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Something Purchased

O what is this thing I actually bought?  Well, most of it.

These jolly green lanterns sparked with insignificant yet sprightly white flowers pendul from what look like stems of bamboo. There was a mountainous display of them at Eastern Market yesterday and as the flower witch who tends the stall assured me, they will last for three weeks. $20. Three weeks. That's uh... $6 and change per week. A great deal more than the nothing I usually spend but really -- is this not a fantastic sight?

The bunch, which was sizable to begin with, is nestled in some leafy branches downed in Saturday night's storm -- a handy idea when you only have a little this and that and want to DO SOMETHING with it. In this case, the branches provide support for the slender stems and also amplify their fabulousness.

I have stuffed it all in the broken pedestal I blathered on about several posts ago. Since it's not engineered to hold water,  a sawed off plastic water bottle is stuck in the opening.

That is, when one's Prince has not discarded one's bottle, which is what happened on this particular occasion.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Serendipitous Juxtapositions and a Note on Pruning

Funny how things sometimes arrange themselves.  Like here, where a print of two pages (I presume), wearing ruffled jackets tinged blue and white fills a niche in the living room bookcase.  The bisque bust of a boy (tinged blue and white and of more or less the same era or epoch or at least millennium) sitting in front magically arrived in this position, as if both were meant to be just so juxtaposed. As if he crawled into a niche in my brain and said, "Carry me forth to reside beside mine bros!"  And so I did.

He's only allowed to visit though, since the picture neatly covers the TV and needs to be moved so we can watch the news or So You Think You Can Dance and whatnot. This would then require moving the bust as well, and he is ridiculously fragile, and absolutely living in the wrong house (this, what I'm typing now, is one big aside. Completely off topic, as these things go) along with many other treacherously delicate objects that sometimes I wish would be reduced to crumbs by some earth event, preferably when we were off frolicking (ah, there's a picture) elsewhere.

The boy and his sister, who lives in Palm Beach with MY sister, once sat in various parental niches in our several childhood homes,  one on each side of some this or that. I never touched either of them -- I didn't even dare to breathe within ten feet of them. My mother, who was rather easy going about most things, did an outstanding job of instilling fear.

One of the most terrifying moments of my life -- right up there with the aneurysm --  was the day she asked me to bring them into the kitchen so she could clean them.

I was thirty.

The picture of the pages was acquired at an estate sale five-six years ago or maybe ten. It was an unlikely purchase, since I have no interest in the subject and blue is not my color, but they were adamant about coming home with me so I sighed and wrote a check (it was definitely a time when checks were still being written).

Here's another thing.

This steel engraving, La Via Appea, it's called, is another parentally provided item. The picture's elaborately unappealing motif features half-naked slaves dancing alongside carriages bearing noblepersons of an extremely white persuasion.  

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