Non-Book Meme Part 5

photo: Mary Mactavish

And so ends a (slightly protracted) meme, originating from a tag from Camille, over at 327 Market, a fine blog if ever there was one. I am charged with listing 5 non-books that I have 'read' that have influenced me. A good exercise. So here is:

Item 5: Eschscholtzia californica, the California poppy

It's actually the underside of this 'umble wildflower to which I refer, but I just couldn't resist this incredible picture done by rosidae. Check out all her fabulous botanical shots! Woo-hoo!

When I was growing up the urban legend in the schoolyard was that because the CA poppy is our state flower, if you picked it you would be sent to jail. Now, at our school we also would staunchly observe 'Friday Flip-Up Day', when any girl stupid enough to wear a dress on a Friday would have it yanked up ala Marilyn Monroe in the lunch line. What I'm saying is the rules and reg's by which we governed ourselves weren't really based on what you might call reality.

This wildflower was definitely ubiquitous but I didn't begin to appreciate it until I was an Appretice at the UCSC Farm & Garden. These little gems dotted the dry grassy meadows which surrounded our farm.
photo: Mary Mactavish
Eschscholtzia's leaves are edged in red, you can just make it out in rosidae's photo. And the undersides are absolutely gorgeous, and for some reason invoke that joy mixed with longing that C.S. Lewis describes in his autobiography 'Surprised by Joy'. They also have cute pixie caps that sort of pop off as the petals unfurl. A flower of ten thousand charms. I have them as seedlings all over my garden, where their dusty grey green dissected leaves rise out of my free-draining sandy (and relatively poor) soil. In the UK eschscholtzias are grown as an annual bedding plant, known either as the 'Californian Poppy' or just by it's hard-to-pronounce Latin name (pronounced 'esk-SKOLT-zia'). When B & I arrived in Scotland for our year stint at the Seamill Centre, I was surprised and delighted to see it running rampant throughout the much-neglected beds. A little taste of home.

photo credit: Mary Mactavish

There. I am done. I tag Shannon Marie, Nealb, Miz Melly & Gibbytron .

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Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.