Saturday, January 31, 2009
I love how some plants glow and shine like stained glass when backlit by the morning or afternoon sun. On this frosty morning my young Swiss Chard "Bright Lights" put on a nice show and got my day started off with a smile. Left double click on the photos to enlarge and see the details close up. Some have asked me if I eat my Swiss chard, ornamental kale, and cabbage plants, and I explain that I grow them only as ornamentals, but if they are hungry, they are welcome to pick some leaves to take home for supper.
Friday, January 30, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
When I lived in Southeast Asia many years ago I visited Chinese gardens in Hong Kong and Singapore and fell in love with their diversity of plants. Click the word CHINESE in the title above to read about the flora of China. Since it is the beginning of Chinese New Year and in their zodiac cycle this is the Year of the Ox. As a gardener I am thankful for the wonderful plants we grow today that originated in China. Can you imagine what we would do without having rice, tea, soybeans, oranges, cucumbers, lemons, peaches, apricots, ginger, anise, ginseng, and the hundreds of species of rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias, viburnums, gardenias, jasmines, forsythias, primroses, chrysanthemums, etc., etc.?
Saturday, January 24, 2009
About 150 miles downriver from Vicksburg is the famous Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. In its garden the mother plant of my Peppermint Camellia still lives. About 20 years ago after touring the mansion and its gardens I bought mine from a nearby nursery down there, and they explained that it was grown from a cutting taken from the original shrub at Oak Alley planted long before the Civil War. (I was curious but I didn't ask just how they obtained the cuttings.) Many antique camellias have fancy French, Chinese, or Japanese names, but my research at sites like the American Camellia Society has not yet revealed the correct name for this "Peppermint" one I have. Note: this post is an update with today's new photos of my previous post on 1-28-08.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Many years ago I bought several dozen of these colorful handblown glass fruits and vegetables to fill up an old, ugly cracked bird bath (which would never hold water) for a punch of color in a dark out-of-the-way corner. Truth be told, it is a tacky sight except on dreary and cold days in January...like today...when my garden looks dull and dead and frozen solid at 25 degrees. I am amazed at how bright these colors have remained after all these years of exposure to the ravages of weather. When people see this mound of color they can't resist asking what it is and my answer is simply: "A bright spot just for January". Left click on this photo to see the small details.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
My winter garden this year only has a dozen flowering cabbage plants but they provide some interesting color especially when there is a play of sun rays on and behind their thick leaves. Rain drops on them sparkle like diamonds in the sunshine because they stick on their leaves similar to nelumbo.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
My magnolia fuscata, called "Banana Shrub" by some folks due to its fragrance of ripe bananas from their yellow flowers in May, is already showing small fuzzy buds. I don't recall seeing them bud out in January so I hope this is a sign of an early spring. I'm sick of winter and more than ready for the rejuvenation that spring always brings to me.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Shrimp gumbo is my very favorite to-die-for dish. Click on GUMBO in the title above to go to her blog, then under "Recent Posts" click on "Identity Gumbo" there to read a very interesting essay/post by the writer and cookbook author,Crescent Dragonwagon, which reveals her thoughts/philosophy on food and gardening and why people write (or blog). I love her cookbooks and recipes and her writing style and her free spirit.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
During these difficult and troubling times politically and economically and aggravated by the short and dreary days of winter we must all stop whining. Times are bad and likely to get worse. Life is not perfect now and never has been and probably never will be. SOMETHING is better than NOTHING and we should be grateful for whatever positives there are in our lives and focus on them, not the negatives. Whining never solved any problems and often we find our conversations spiraling down into a "pity party". Whining is contagious, negative, tiresome and self-defeating. Let's remove the IF's and BUT's from our minds and conversations and get out of the "too...too" rut syndrome of "too cold, too wet, too hard, too expensive, too...too ad nauseum, etc., etc. Better and longer days of sunshine are just ahead so let's just shut up with the whining and THINK SPRING!
Friday, January 02, 2009
DALLAS (AP) -- Ole Miss isn't just the team that handed Florida its only loss. These Rebels are seriously on the rise. No. 20 Mississippi overcame an early deficit and beat No. 7 Texas Tech 47-34 in the final Cotton Bowl played in the stadium of the same name. It came behind Jevan Snead's passing, Dexter McCluster's squirming runs and some big returns by Marshay Green. The Red Raiders (11-2) converted a pair of early turnovers into a 14-0 lead, but Snead led the Rebels to touchdowns on their next three drives, followed by a go-ahead field goal shortly before halftime. Once Green returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter, Ole Miss (9-4) was well on its way to capping coach Houston Nutt's first season in grand style. This was Mississippi's sixth straight win, matching its longest streak since 2003. That's when Eli Manning was a senior. That also was the last time the Rebels had been to a bowl. This was the 73rd Cotton Bowl and the last in its namesake home. The game is moving next year to the $1.1 billion stadium being built by the Dallas Cowboys. The bowl founder's widow handled the pregame coin toss and the dates 1937 and 2009 were painted on the field between the words, "Celebrating 73 years."