Well, G's little sickness has migrated to her mommy, and so I'm inside, (typety-typety), instead of out there in the sweet March breeze; which today is lightly scented by neighboring acacias (I must be the one person in the county who isn't allergic),and new growth. I meant to be sowing breadseed poppies and ammi magus today. I was going to start dismantling the coldframe today, in order to paint it and fix the window panes. I was going to break in my new Corona long-arm lopers on the elder tree on the hillside. Wah wah wah. I spend a lot time gardening in my head anyway, when I can't get out there, so today is in a similar vein, except that each thought is puncuated with a hearty sneeze and a Pla-Doh worm from Miss G, who is trying, in her little 3 year old way, to make me feel better.

From the Blue Room
The back half of our house is underground; (we live in a hobbit-hole, really) and as I sit here in our office/catch-all room, I can look up to the casement window at the spring weeds that are growing overhead. One of my favourite little bits of spring ephemera is currently nodding down at me, the Miner's Lettuce, (Montia perfoliata). However, 'Plants of the Coast Redwood Region' gives perhaps too much information about this little plant:

"As the name implies, miner's lettuce can be eaten raw in salads or boiled like spinach. A common practice of the California Indians was to place the plant near red ant hills. As the ants crawled over the leaves, they left behind a vinegary flavor like a salad dressing. "

Blech. I'm going to lie down.
But Before I Do
Has anyone checked out Esther in the Garden, yet? A good read. This is the blog of one Esther Montgomery, recently wed to a Martian. Their intergalactic newly wed life (and all the foreseeable issues: where to hide the spaceship-in the garden shed, disguised as an old suitcase, of course!) are seen through the eyes of the British gardening year. Check it out! And tell her Rosa sent you.


jessica said...

your house sounds interesting...half underground? does it back onto a mountain?

i hope everyone at your house (above and below ground) feels better soon, stay away from red ant juice, doesn't sound like it'd do anyone any good (though you never know...)

rosa said...

Jessica! I've missed you, and our little correspondences! Yes, it backs up into a hillside, and we occupy the ground floor. The front of the house is normal looking, but as you go around the back, the terrain rises until you are standing outside looking down into the kitchen, bathroom and office. All the houses in this area are pretty cobbled together, probably b/c they all used to be little summer cabins, and gradually became 'weatherized' for year-round use. Some better than others.
They're all wood (though the underground parts of our place are cement) and survived the big 1989 earthquake (7.1 on the Richter Scale, but who's counting?)by swaying delicately with the tremors. But you, the architecture student must know all this already!
A friend of ours from N. Ireland came to visit and reported that it looked like everyone lived in garden sheds, which I thought was funny, and true.

Esther Montgomery said...

Dear Rosa

It's heartwarming and encouraging to read your commendation.

Hope you feel better soon.

An unpleasant cough is circulating where I live.

A friend sent over the needles of a special pine tree - which she says are very good for coughs if boiled up first - and the liquid drunk.

I'm not sure I have the courage to folllow her advice!

Feel better soon!


Anonymous said...

sadness at your sickness...abuhhhhh

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Just found you on Blotanical. Nice site.


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.