Something called the Century Plant is going to qualify as a relic today.
My friend Kristin had been sending me photos of the Agave Americana (known as the Century Plant) as it was growing in her family’s front yard on
St. George Island. When I went down for vacation I got to see it first hand. I couldn’t believe how tall it had grown.
It is definitely at least twenty + feet tall!
It was preparing to be in full bloom- and then it will die. I saw some other Century Plants on the island in different stages of their life cycle.
Kristin sent me these photos on the phone and said, “Wait until you come and see it in person.” She wasn’t kidding. I took some photos of it too.
How it starts. The mother plant sends out “pups”
I used a flash at sunset and it makes the buds look interesting.
A shot at night
Someone else’s Century Plant fell over.
Steve and I drove across the Highland Park Bridge to Joan’s for dinner. You’ve seen Joan’s spools of thread and checking out where she used to teach.
Since I went out of town on my birthday, we made a plan for when I would be back in town and when we could get together
Joan made James Beard’s recipe for Lahma bi Ajeen. The fresh tomatoes, cucumber and peppers,Baba Ganoush, Hummus, Yogurt Sauce with Fresh Dill from her garden, and wonderful olives.
The Lahma bi Ajeen recipe from Beard on Bread cookbook (A well used page)
Buttermilk Pound Cake from World of Baking by Delores Casella topped with fresh rhubarb sauce. Rhubarb from Joan’s garden- we ate outside.
Thanks for a nice dinner and good conversation, Joan. Everything was delicious
Joan inside her doorway keeping the dogs inside.
They are everywhere.
As far as the eye can see.
I photographed (70-200 Canon L series lens) the wildflowers on the way to the San Antonio airport last Sunday.
Was NOT the driver of the rental van but the passenger. (Thanks Rick) Figure we were going about 70 mph so the blue is a bit of a blur.
My artist friend J gave me a dozen stems of dried Allium from her garden.
J knew that they’d be great for pictures.
The kids enjoyed arranging them and taking photos of the outer space orbs.
After school I tried putting one into a glass globe my neighbors had given me (minus the crazy centerpiece, which has since been trashed).
The top flower had broken off from the stem but didn’t take away from the dried flower end.
The round glass globe creates some interesting effects in the images. I see that you need to plant bulbs if you want Allium in your garden next Spring.
I’d always wondered what they were when I saw the tall purple alien- looking flowers.
Some of the flowers were gigantic. The stems are called scapes.
And if you want a recipe for scapes, (which aren’t available now but you can plan ahead for next season) check out recipe from Bartolini Kitchens Chicago John’s calling for “6-9 garlic scapes“ or Rufus Food and Spirit Guide for Stir Fry with Chicken, Zucchini and Garlic Scapes
My food blogging friends know allium well. I just didn’t know what they were named. Shot with iPhone.
Since the family is visiting , Erika wanted to see her longtime friend Liz. We drove out to the country today to see Liz and her family’s new home and all the hard work they have done (continue to do) to make it spectacular. During the house tour she shared her attempt at Bonsai.
She made us smile. It can’t be easy.
I should have asked her more about it but the little brown growth had a prime spot in a sunny window in the kitchen, even though it had seen better days.
Not sure if she took a workshop or class.
Here ‘s a link to the Brooklyn Botanic article on Bonsai Small Tree, Big Heart by Julian Velasco
And here is one of the photographs of a Bonsai tree at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden I took in June when I visited my sister.
Probably more what Liz had in mind. Bonsai means “planted in a tray” and the definition and history is here
My friend Kristin sent this beautiful Orchid Cactus (epiphyllum) blossom from Florida- on the phone!
I invited her to guest blog it. I had never seen an orchid cactus before.
The cactus blooms once a summer and the flower lasts about 24 hours.
Glenn Rice’s page states “Opens and closes in a single night” opens and closes on a single night
That’s it. A beautiful short life.
Kristin got the cactus at a local/ native nursery.
Thanks Kristin for sending the beautiful blossom. I forgot to ask if it has a scent.
Ten years ago, I lost the giant sycamore in front of my house. It must have been 100 years old. I even called in a tree doctor to see if it could be saved. It was a sad loss when in was cut down. I applied for a new tree through the city,
Last Saturday, volunteers planted a new tree in front- Liriodendron Tulipifera. A tulip tree. A yellow poplar. The leaves are the shapes of tulips. It is a beautiful looking tree and I am so grateful to have it planted. I read it is the state tree of Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee and may grow to 170 feet tall.
Email instructions arrived on how to water it deeply by using a big bucket with holes in the bottom and how to not put mulch touching the bark so fungus doesn’t grow on the bark are a couple of tips.
Does anyone remember the television commercial encouraging the planting of trees? There was a quote – It’s a mature man who plants a tree under whose shade he will never sit. I looked it up and all I could find is a Greek proverb…
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
It’s gardening season finally. Planting grass seed. Thinking about what vegetables to plant. James and Laura were preparing their garden and found this Old School original Fisher-Price Little People® girl. Wooden head. Wooden body.
I think she got transferred from my son and his wife’s house to my daughter and her husband’s house. Not by a bird but a grandchild. Will have to check and see if the same girl is living in two homes.
Awhile ago I did a post on the various generations of the Little People® I’d come across at the family’s house in Columbus.
No worries about choking hazard when these were manufactured. And here’s the crazy part. I discovered a site that identifies the Little People®.
From what I could determine she’s from late 60s early 70s. On the site she is listed as Occupation: Girl.
I think they are a match!
Here are the three generations from the October 2011 post
When we lived in Germany, we’d get Pussywillow with fuzzy gray shapes along the branch and hang wooden eggs and rabbit ornaments to make an Easter Tree.
Add MediaI’d never seen Black Pussywillows until Wednesday night at my friend J’s home. I was to take a photograph over to her and the evening turned into an impromptu supper. My crazy part is I went over without the picture I was to take. J followed me back to my house after we ate and got the photograph to take back to her own home but she didn’t seem to mind.
A great blog post about this unusual looking plant is here. The Latin name (Salix gracilistylus ‘Melanostachys’)
I can’t remember the name/type of ceramic vase holding the branches. (Taken with the iPhone)
Four is a great age to be.
It’s been a fast four years!
And the most recent shot below
Mark married Erika. What a beautiful bride. But more importantly, a beautiful person. That was ten years ago.
Bill McC gave me lessons on how to to be a mother-in-law, or how to NOT be a bad mother-in-law…
The very words (MIL) can send a shudder through you-there I said it- mother-in-law!
We all know how the older generation (me) can annoy the younger generation.
Even if you try your best to not be annoying or try to not give unwanted advice or commentary. Joanne B suggested Duct Tape.
But this post is really about my daughter-in-law, Erika.
She is a lot of fun and tolerant and loving towards me, teasing and trying to update my wardrobe and style constantly. In a good way! She is one terrific mom, too. An organic gardener whose specialty is Japanese Eggplant, Kale and tomatoes and now has a new found interest in photography.
Today’s her birthday.
I wish I had the photo of her in the hot air balloon last May with my sister. She is brave and adventuresome.
Here’s Erika as an amazing mother to my four grandchildren and a loving wife to my son Mark and a terrific sister to my daughter and son Laura and Matthew and James. She’s really patient and is always thoughtful and kind to me, calling me up and telling me about the family happenings, keeping me up to date.
Love to my DIL Erika from your MIL!
(MIL sounds less awful than Mother-in-Law) and thanks Bill for the handy tips. You’ll have to ask Erika is I learned from you on how to be a good MIL.
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild photo class went on a field trip to the Bidwell Training Center greenhouse where there are orchid “crops”. I learned how to use custom white balance in some strange light(thanks Jill) and I asked our guide how she came to be doing the work she is doing. She used to work in hazardous waste. Her undergrad was something to do the with environment (sorry Marie, I didn’t write it down) and she always loved the forest and growing things. She was inspired by a Ziggy comic panel which she still has of Ziggy on his knees in awe of a flower blooming. (didn’t write down the punchline either but Marie, if you read this post Friday please comment and remind me) Getting a Master’s Degree and being a horticulturist became the next step when work in hazardous waste started to disappear. She knows a lot about orchids and was patient as our class tried to get beautiful shots of the elegant flowers in a different full spectrum light. And thank you Marie for the informative tour and consenting to be part of the People at Work series. Marie is an example of finding your passion and doing that work!
Maura put on her mom’s gardening gloves, picked up a trowel, dug in the dirt and transferred a shovelful from one part of the flowerbed to another. I asked her, “What are you doing? and she held up the little spade to show me!