Bird is the word…

August 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

Cardinal:  Hey! Are you looking at me? 
Photographer: Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I am. And a fine looking bird you are, too, even with that sunflower seedyou have pinched in your mouth.

And with that, Sir Cardinal flew into the nearest tree, finished his seed and began a litany of  sordid songs ’til the photographer put aside her camera and moved away from the feeder.

Another moment in Suburban-garden Land brought to you from Cafe Oh.



June 8, 2011 § 16 Comments

“It’s over 90 and it’s not even 10,” she said.

The beauty of language.
She was talking about the temperature and the time of day. 
The  flowers were nonchalant, blowing in the early heat, having sipped a dewy cocktail and danced in a garden hose spritz.


I’m being followed by a *moonflower …

October 14, 2009 § 13 Comments


It was like buying magic beans.
HM found the moonflower seeds in a shop and struck by the name and the hope they would really bloom at night, he bought them.
He planted them in a huge pot in the front of the house. 
The vines began, huge green leaves.
And then the deer discovered them.
HM  put some ratty old wire mesh around them as protection.
I waited for a note in our mailbox from the neighbors. (None came.)
The spindly vine continued but the leaves looked to be fainting in the summer sun and so we moved the pot near a tree by the pool.

Suddenly they thrived. I shouldn’t say “they.”

There was no “they” yet.
There was only more and more huge broad green leaves, very nice, very ordinary.
About three weeks ago, as I stood on the patio just after dark, wondering whether to stay in the balm or go inside and “do” something, I caught sight of something white and shining.
I would say that it called my name, but it didn’t quite.
But it said something, because I turned suddenly to see it.
It was the first moonflower.
We had heard that people have moonflower parties, set up their chairs and wait and watch for the bloom to open. It happens in a minute.

I ran indoors to get HM and dragged him outdoors.
Flower drama.
Yes, the moonflower blooms late afternoon, early evening and all night long.
It’s over and done by daylight the next day.
It is said to be fragrant although we didn’t notice that particularly.
It is huge, the size of a small plate.
It is silken and can barely hold it’s own, nearly draping over itself.
If I wrote a children’s story, it would be in it.

I examined the vine the next day to see how many more blooms might happen.
There were about eight “buds.”
The weather has cooled considerably.
The plant has slowed down, though there are about 12 possible blooms to go.
However, the frost threatens and the moonflower, like other flora, does not like frost. 

Next year, I”m plunking my chair next to the vine and watching.
It is a magical thing to have a night-blooming flower.

Merry Golds

September 9, 2009 § 9 Comments


A basket of “rescued” flowers from the back garden. They are now indoors and away from the huge slapping raindrops. that had hammered them into the garden bed. 

Now they aren’t gritty ditty dirt blooms. They’re all cleaned up and scattered around the house in squat square vases which handily showcase the big-headed chunka munkas. 

OK, every book I CAN think of with flowers in the title is kinda sad, disturbing, albeit poignant.  Like, I Never Pomised You a Rose Garden or Flowers for Algernon or The Orchid Thief.

And then there are all the ones I haven’t read yet, like Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews, or, The Flame and the Flower by Katherine Woodiwiss, or,  The Complete Book of Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker (which looks darling).

Wait, by jove, I’ve got one:
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robt Louis Stevenson. It’s ageless in its way.
                                              The rain is raining all around
                                              It falls on field and tree
                                              It rains on the umbrellas here
                                             And on the ships at sea.
                                                                                             (by RL Stevenson)

(and it falls on the marigolds who are bright against the storm’s gray.)

let the flowers do the talking …

April 18, 2009 § 14 Comments

Saturday morning at the Botanical Gardens with HM …


Orchid week … monday

February 2, 2009 § 7 Comments


as though etched and painted
(photo snapped at Missouri Botanical Garden)

So far on Sunday…

August 31, 2008 § 5 Comments

I stood so still to snap some of these pictures that a morning glory vine started to wrap around my arm. I swear to God, it’s true.  A little freaky.

The bees were so loud and busy – they sounded like trucks going by on a distant highway. They got so pollen-heavy, they had to rest and clean up or push it into their little pouches or whatever they do with all that glorious golden stuff. We are so glad to see them back this summer in full force. It was quiet without their constant hum last year.

Yawn. sigh. That’s my kidz reactions to these pics from the backyard cafe garden this morning. I’ll be dropping in and out all day as I journal-blog, just for the fun of it. It is, after all, a holiday weekend.

Fessupfriday…with Huck, our “beag”

August 8, 2008 § 2 Comments

In some of those glorious after-work Friday nite moments, while mucking about in the backyard in some very non-writing moments, I snapped the beagle in mid-sniff as he dwaddled among the greenery.

Fess up Friday notes: Oh. Well. Um. Let’s see.
I did some serious revision work at work.
I was out every night this week but not because I was sitting in  a cafe and writing.
One evening was meeting with a fellow writing colleague to discuss a book editing project on which we are about to embark.

Other writing written? Besides some blogging, I’ve got zero zip nada.

But it was a busy marketing/query week. And that’s a good thing. One loves to pump the pipeline with potentials. I’d better settle down to the book I’m reviewing for SAUCE magazine.

Meanwhile, in shifting gears from work to weekend on this summery summer night, it’s nice to watch the “beagers” snuffling about in the backyard green.

Not just another pretty face…(sunflower fever, just before the rain came)

July 30, 2008 § Leave a comment


July 23, 2008 § Leave a comment

“Good morning!” shout the purple glories as they unfurl at dawn. (overheard in backyard garden)

“Turkey has more bookstores per capita than any country in the world.” (dinner party conversation last weekend.)

Diet Coke sold out in movie theatres across the country during showings of Sex and the City in its premier weeks.” (said a projectionist at a local city cinema.)

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