Here and There

Friday, May 18, 2007

Treasure: Old China and Ripe Fruit

These are some little bits of china and glass and stone we found at Glass Beach awhile back. Because they are now in a little glass bottle, it is nice to do them the virtual honor of being spread out. Today I went to Monterey Market for apricots and strawberries and zucchini. As I write this I notice that in my mind I say "zucchine" like T. Monica. Monterey Market is often very crowded and people sometimes push, like at Berkeley Bowl. BUT, at Monterey Market, there is a large outdoor produce section and it gives the illusion that it's not so bad, but actually quite pleasant. I think partly because of the phenomenon that vegetables and fruit that are outside seem like they are fresher, more fragrant and more where they belong. So I like smelling them and feeling them and I don't mind my arm being bumped or someone not noticing my tush isn't moving as fast as her cart. I haven't trekked to Berkeley Bowl in awhile, I've been getting my fruit fix at Monterey.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Hollyhocks: Now these are Santa Fe. Hollyhocks leaning against baking walls, making wood fences seem taller with their strong sturdy backs. They grow tall and straight and then bloom their flowers close to their stems, decorating their strength and making all the adobes friendly with each other. The hollyhocks meet the desert- of sagebrush ready to smudge and dusty little hills and tracks. Tall, bright flowers down in the town, don't really belong with the brush and scattered stones all laying so flat in those high desert mountains. New Mexico has a purple sky that is so much heavier than regular sky, she dips her belly and her breasts to the desert, and the mountains make valleys to rest under her weight. At night she wears the stars gracefully, they stir on her dusky skin and shine on.

I love Santa Fe. I wrote this bit about hollyhocks a long time ago in my flower musings book. On Sunday when we were walking into Finn Hall, I saw these little cotton looking fluffs floating all around us. We stopped and Peter pointed out the trees that they came from and I was reminded of Santa Fe. I remember driving from Colorado to Santa Fe once with Doug and mom and Dari. It was a really pretty kind of drive, through lots of canyons. We had all the windows open and these little fluffs of cotton were flying all around. Swooping through the car windows, dilly dallying all along the winding road. It was kind of magical.
It wasn't rough like leaves blowing in the wind, crackly and awkward. It was gentle and harmless, just soft bits tossed around in the warm breeze.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Linaria. Linaria!

This is 'Linaria', commonly known as 'Toadflax'. The variety shown is 'Flamenco'. Teacher Myrna introduced this little number to me, and I loved it! The funny thing is, right before our wedding, I "discovered" linaria myself. We had our reception in my parents' backyard and my mom had a small planter mounted on a fence that needed something in it. I had seen linaria at the store, and thought it was kind of like Nemesia, (which it really isn't). So I said, try this new plant! It looked great, but there is a marked difference between a six pack of easter egg color linaria found at Rite Aid and the well established 4" pot of 'Flamenco' linaria that T. Myrna had the other day. I didn't even recognize it right away. I didn't even associate it with that six pack of baby colors. This must be a cool new plant! But it wasn't. It was just more interesting looking.

As with many things, if you learn more and look more, you'll find cooler looking versions of what you already need/have. I think I know people who do that all the time and they do manage to have the same old stuff as everyone else, but it's just a little more lovely, or a little more useful.

So I will get the 'Flamenco' linaria and enjoy every little red and orange popcorn kernel bopping on the frilly leaves. It doesn't cost more, it doesn't need anything different to grow, it just needed me to keep my eyes open to new varieties, the possibility of a common thing being noticable.

Caution: Slippery slope to taking the concept and slipping into a binge of consumerism...I don't have the means to do this, and must take this theory and use it for things like $3 plants, not fancy baby stuff...although these darn hooter hiders are so cool!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hot, Hot, Hot!

Last Monday, after a doctor's appointment, we headed out of town. We thought it might be crazy because of the freeway collapse and all, but we had been looking so forward to it, we went anyway. There was some traffic, but not too bad. It was warm, the beach was beautiful, we slept in the sand and got strawberries at a roadside stand. Perfect Half Moon Bay day. It felt like playing hooky because we weren't sick and because everything was so beautiful and empty. Playing hooky at its best means that the day feels charmed. I love that.
Today is another Monday, no hooky. Work, work in the heat. Not as fun. But I did get a watermelon on the way home, so we'll see how good it is. If it is sweet, it will make the day seem a little cooler and a little more comfortable.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Hey there yellow!

This is the first bloom on the Gidlund ranch. We got these roses, one bush for each side of the arch in front, at Berkeley Horticulture Society. (I wrote Berkeley Hort first and then I felt a little silly, so I went ahead and wrote the full name) They had a bout with aphids, but then the aphids just kind of disappeared. I did give every ladybug I found in the yard a chance to feast by placing them strategically on aphid infested leaves, but regardless of how they came to disappear, they've gone.

This rose isn't super duper fragrant, but it's nice. And I like how it has just enough petals to look whirly opening, but few enough to where you notice how each one is important. Have you noticed all the roses blooming around town? It's kind of amazing; so many yards with blooming roses. So many colors!

One rose I am particularly jealous of is in Emeryville. Specifically it is on Pixar's fence. It is a pink climbing rose and it is fantastic! Kind of a dark pink, not too precious or anything, and all the flowers are in varying stages of bloom. The sheer number of roses on the fence, with all the healthy thick green leaves is quite a sight. And I'll tell you, this fence is long and it is covered with these roses. I wonder whose idea it was. Someone very clever I bet.