Friday, April 10, 2009

Plants I'm Growing: First Blooms--Phlomis Fruiticosa, "Flutterby" Rose, "Change of Pace" Iris

The new yellow-orange climbing rose at the front of the house ("Flutterby") is just coming into its own--covered with buds that are about to open. A single bud opened a couple of days ago, but the plant won't really start blooming for a day or two. "Flutterby" starts out yellow but turns orange and pink as it fades. A very pretty rose.

Another German iris opened up today. This one is called "Change of Pace." It's usually among the first to bloom each year.

The first yellow petals have emerged on the big Phlomis plants by the birdbath today (Phlomis fruiticosa).

Solomon's seal (Polygonatum commutatum) also grows in our garden. It's one of the many plants I've planted here to remind me of the first garden I had to do with as I pleased--the garden of the house that was my grandmother's and then my mother's, on Shaftesbury Rd. in Dayton, Ohio. Solomon's Seal is a delicate eastern woodland wildflower, but for some reason it has been quite content in the very different climate here in Santa Rosa. First blooms today--more or less. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Art I'm Looking At: Found Art (April 7, 2009)

On the way to school this morning, walking my son, I came across a number of chalk scribbles on the sidewalk that caught my eye. Someone had drawn hopscotch boards and doodled alongside of them. These abandoned drawings struck me as beautiful. I captured fragments with my iPhone camera, creating collaborative images--found art. Similar scribbles must be on the streets of virtually every American city, from Washington to Cincinnati to San Francicso. Art is everywhere.

[Update (April 8): It rained last night. This found art is now gone.]

Monday, April 6, 2009

Movies I'm Watching: The Wild One

I was idly watching The Wild One (1953, directed by Laslo Benedek) this afternoon, taking a break from working in the garden. I had to laugh. I'd never before looked at the biker crowd in the early scenes very carefully. I hadn't realized that Jerry Paris, Gil Stratton, and Alvy Moore were among the gang members. Jerry Paris is probably best know as Jerry, Dick and Laura's dentist neighbor on The Dick Van Dyke Show, and for directing many of the episodes of that show. Gil Stratton I recognized as William Holden's sidekick in Stalag 17, and Alvy Moore is the man who played Mr. Kimball, the county agent on Green Acres--who has always been my favorite character on that rather silly show.

Plants I'm growing: First Blooms--Iris, Potentilla, "Altissimo" Climbing Rose, Bush Morning Glory

A lot going on in the garden today. I didn't have time to take many pictures, but I note here that this year's first blooms opened on a number of plants--including the first German iris of the year, the yellow potentillla under the olive tree, the "Altissimo" climbing rose, and the white bush morning glory (Convolvulus mauritanicus).

Yesterday a single blossom on the small pale pink Cistus under the Chitalpa tree opened, but I see no other flowers at the moment.
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