And the Wind Blew…

April 9, 2013

IMG_5742It’s spring again, and whew are gardeners busy.  We are so consumed with thinking about plant needs (everybody’s different!) that we forget to find a moment’s peace to reflect on just how dang cool it all is.  Stuff is growing, literally popping before our very eyes.  Buds are whispering.  Blossoms are singing either operas or Billy Holiday songs.   The bees and other buzzers are back.  When we stop a moment to take in all that wonderment, there is no gladder heart than a spring time gardener’s.

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Spring means that I shed my skin and become a baseball widow once more

And so, in homage to the insistent wind, the much-needed spring rains, and all that glorious green, here is a pictorial love letter.  (Bloggettes, double click on the pictures to make them bigger…i know I need a new blog style that shows off the photos, but i am apparently not done with this sweet, intimate one just yet.)

Yarrow for days at Alemany Farm...

Yarrow for days…

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Brand new Maidenhair fern frond

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One of the Nuccio’s Camellias

I love you dirt.  I love you brand new frond.  I love you Sun.  You  sustain us all so well.   Thank you.

The very special bloodroot

The very special blood root

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Words can be fertile ground…(a garden fairy tale come true.)

Some of you will remember a post about my friend Marion.   Marion and I were planting a medicinal herb garden at her home in Piedmont, CA this spring when she passed away suddenly.  This was a very sad happening, and her family wondered what to do with the herbs that she had planted.  There was much consternation, and then her husband Zafiris said the magical words “Take them away.  I don’t know what to do with such things.”  Really?!?  (Tears watered the soil beneath Marion’s oak tree.)

And so I bravely dug those happy plants out of their home dirt, and ferried them across the Bay Bridge to land in their new location–an under-utilized garden in the Inner Richmond.   A vast landscape of quick-draining soil, amended with homemade compost.   Hip hop music blasting in the background.  Old relics of the past garden lying around.  Woodchips from the trees that used to stand on site.  In other words, a blank canvas, a new beginning.

Forgive for a moment a narrator’s interruption:  I want to be clear.  I’m not the hero of this story.  I’m just the dopey sidekick.  The plants are the brains.  And despite all the unpredictable variables of their new destiny, and in spite of the gardener within that keeps saying “we’ll see…” they are looking really good!  Like sticks of a plant, with brand new basal growth where dirt meets aerial parts!  New growth!

And this gardener is so happy I could spit.  Honestly.  I’ve been waiting for this moment for such a long time:  sunny San Francisco location meets herbal medicinals.  An herb garden of my own!  To share with others, eventually.  First we’ve got some growing to do.

Sticks and stones get moved around to host Solidago, and Chamomile, Blue Vervain, and a ton of Grindelia…

Take a peek.  It may not look like much, but come next Spring and Summer, these baby plants will be usefully engaged in soothing your sore throats, calming your fried nerves, and pepping up your tired bones.

For now they look like sticks among the stones.  We are moving toward the winter solstice.  It’s cold and dark, it’s raining.  But eventually the rains will stop.  And then the plants will be lush.  And I’ll pick some of their leaves, and make you a tea.   See?

A deep thank you to Mary and Ted

 

Snail sidetrack

May 12, 2010

What ever happened to Steep of the Week?  Or SOW as I like to call it.  Heh.

Well, I got a little sidetracked by snails…

Ride 'em mollusk!

Just look at these things (if you can stomach it)!!!   I’ve definitely got enough for lunch (as well as a very deft snail catcher.)  Click on these pics to enlarge them and take it all in.  The snails sure do!

Escargot anyone?

I’ve decided one should always love snails for their expressive horns and their impeccable ‘decomposer’ role in the garden.  One also probably doesn’t love snails for gobbling up your baby seedlings just transplanted into the garden.  Or consuming the once perfect leaves of your first spring hosta.  Sigh.  Such is the way of the garden, folks.

Snails deserve lunch too, you know.