Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Plants rock my world



My beautiful Streptocarpus "Black Panther."


Let's talk about plants. Let's get it all out in the open. I love plants. I am totally fascinated by them---their likes, dislikes, habitats, origins, uses, smells, tastes, looks. I work in a commercial greenhouse and spend all day, every day, with plants...and I still can't get enough of them. After a long day at work, I come home and spend more time with my own plants...

I water all of the seedlings I've started for my garden; pumpkins, crookneck squash, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, kohlrabi and 75 basil plants! I lovingly gaze at my 9' brugmansia...I cheer on the 6 dahlias in giant pots in the living room, I croon to my spider-mite infested (but still beautiful) passionflower vine. Plants. I love them, I work with them, I think about them constantly.

I also dream about them. Recently, I dreamed about secret agents who were undercover and carrying around various types of petunias. Their identity and mission were inextricably linked to the type, growth habit and flower color of the petunia. Very covert ops stuff....
Petunias, though....go figure.




My current pride and joy is this Streptocarpus, given to me by my friend Carolyn at the opening of an art exhibit I was in about a year ago. At the time, it was just a wee thing...maybe the size of an apple. Now? It's about the size of a beach ball. It started cranking out blooms in the past 2 weeks with the serious onset of spring light here at the 64th parallel...
Streptocarpus are originally from South Africa and are also known as 'Cape Primrose." They're similar to, and I believe, related to, African Violets: their leaves don't like getting wet, they like moist, fairly rich soil and a good amount of sunlight. My 'Black Panther' is a real trooper to weather the 15% humidity of an Alaskan winter...


A close-up of the gorgeous blooms...
This plant makes me feel good every time I look at it. A simple and true pleasure.



This is Streptocarpus grandis---a flower stalk out of one honkin' leaf!
Look here for a thousand other varieties of this cool plant... Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Birthday Potato Voodoo



Frommage turned 40 this winter and this was one of his birthday gifts. I think a carved purple potato is a damned inspired present! Now that it's grown hair, a hand, and butt tentacles, I think it is even more clever and amazing.
It's been transforming itself in the cupboard for four months now...



I'll plant it in the garden this summer.
I expect great and strange things to happen under ground... Posted by Picasa

Knitting for my Easter niece...



For Easter, I took on the task of knitting matching socks and hat for my 19 month old niece. The socks went well, except for picking up stitches on the sides of the heels...yikes! I must work on that technique....
The hat was totally easy...and then I thought of bunny ears for it. I probably went through 10 ear shapes trying to get it right... and I still didn't! An hour before I was to meet up with my sister and niece, I quickly knitted up some simple little pink nubs to add to the hat (had to have some pink on there or it wouldn't match the socks...).
Unfortunately, when my sister saw the hat, she said, "Devil horns!" So, I guess I didn't get the shape right...



I think it looks great on her though....she is just so darned cute...




She makes me think that having kids could be a wonderful thing... Posted by Picasa