Saturday, December 31, 2011

Remembering Henri Matisse (And an Update on my Year-End Review)


Happy last day of the 2011 year, dear reader, and Happy Birthday to Henri Matisse, who was born 142 years ago today, in 1869. He died on the third of November in 1954, but it is Matisse's life that we (the 80+ things which I grow in my urban — NYC — garden) and I are recalling today.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Some End of Year Posting Schedule Changes


As you may recall, from yesterday's post, Juan V and I bit the winterizing bullet and wrapped the 80+ things, which I grow in my rooftop garden. These things include herbs, vines, succulents, salad greens, grasses, plants, flowers, shrubs, trees and sedum. The wrapping of the things that I grow to preserve them through the winter is a topic I discussed (as a guest blogger) on Fern Richardson's blog, Life on the Balcony.

I will not be posting for a few days; hence the image posted above taken of a restaurant window in my neighborhood. The sign remained in the window day after day — for a couple of months — until the restaurant closed, going out of business for good. In my case, I have no intention of going out of business but I am preparing a year end review which will feature the adventures of the things that I have grown this past season. Please stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

GUEST POST NEWS & OF COURSE, "If it's Tuesday, it must be . . ." tumblr. Week Fourteen


Today is Tuesday so you know that it must be tumblr, and you can get there by clicking here. Meanwhile, I bit the winterizing bullet with Juan V, so this posting is a bit later than is my usual standard. Wrapping some of the smaller plants (such as this Tulipa Kaufmanniana pictured above), was like bundling up a toddler in a puffy jacket. We had over eighty containers that provide homes to my herbs, salad greens, succulents, vines, plants, flowers, grasses, shrubs as well as my trees, to prepare for their NYC seasonal winter nap, and we dressed each one in layers of bubble wrap and burlap (from on-line fabrics) before tying them with a "sash" of jute. I will post more about our antics and hopefully share some pointers later this week.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday's Musings: It's Boxing Day (among other things)!

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

The sweet little eggplant figurine, known as Lady Eggplant (who is pictured here in the image above), came to my place to spend time in my indoor succulent garden with the other Christmas characters* that visit for the season. This morning she told me that she needed some down time today, to take a break from all the socializing that she has been doing during the "holidays", and so she stepped away from my succulents to be alone alongside my wreath, which I have atop my easel.

Lady Eggplant is feeling somewhat despondent because she just heard about a quote made by Ursula K. Le Guin, which is, "I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant." Lady Eggplant was quite hurt by this remark, and she pointed out that she always went to great pains to dress imaginatively, and admitted that this was no mean feat given the size of her touché.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Have yourself a . . .


Tis the day of the Eve, on TLLG, and I am wishing those who celebrate a very Merry — with this bit of cheer from one of my faves, Mutts. In between hanging your stockings by the chimney with care, you might wanna visit posts that feature this strip* that are out there!




*Please click here for a "list"of previous posts that include Mutts. AND, as for a little background on the tree (whose images you see above), it's M.R.'s first Christmas tree! And it's shining brightly with lights from yours truly who highly recommends battery operated lights when your tree is far from an electrical outlet. I referred to this "style"of lights in my December 23rd entry on nybg's (New York Botanical Garden) tumblr which you may refer to by clicking here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Follow Up: "the celebration of Festivus"


Today, Friday, is the weekday I reserve for follow-up: hence Friday Follow Up. However, today, December 23rd, is also known as Festivus Day. According to Wiki, "Festivus Day is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as a way to celebrate the holiday without participating in its pressures, the religious aspects, and commercialism. It was created by writer Dan O'Keefe and introduced into popular culture by his son Daniel, a screenwriter for the TV show, Seinfeld."

Because I have not had a television for quite a number of years, what I know about Seinfeld is minimal, and I certainly — until today — knew nothing about the celebration of FestivusMy Larix Kaempferi (Japanese Larch) which grows in my urban (NYC) garden is the one who told me about it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winter Solstice: Think Spring!

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Today is the winter solstice — for the year 2011 — when the days stop shortening, reverse direction and begin to grow long again. I have written about this phenomenon in the past, and if you'd like to read my thoughts on the solstice for 2010 (posted on TLLG), please click here.
As for the snowman figurine (seen in the image posted above), who spends the winter season in my succulent garden: He is armed with his watering can and a "Think Spring" sign —  you've heard of occupy Wall Street — well my little figurine is all about "occupy gardens" in the anticipation of spring . . . for after this darkest (re sunlight) day of the year passes, each day will get brighter and brighter!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree: How Good to Use Your Branches!

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11


Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh, Christmas Tree: How Good to Use Your Branches! The branches of Christmas trees make great winter blankets for an outdoor container garden.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"If it's Tuesday, it must be . . ." tumblr. Week Thirteen ('Twas the day before Winter . . . )




Twas the day before winter, throughout my garden on the east coast,
When the things that I grow there, began to sing AND to boast;
All of them were most excited to learn,
They'd be featured in "Life on the Balcony" —  A blog by Fern!


Today is Tuesday so you know that it must be tumblr, and you can get there by clicking here, but before you go, I'd like to share some news with you, dear reader: I have been featured as a guest blogger for Fern Richardson's blog which she calls Life on the Balcony, where I have written a three part post on Garden Winterizing.

This is why the things I grow began to sing and to boast — the next thing that they'll want is to have a toast!

I encourage you to check out Fern's blog, as there is a lot of great content there, and I am thrilled to be a part of her community! I would truly appreciate any comments you might leave on the posts I wrote for her.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday's Musings: On The Gathering of Rosebuds


"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, 
Old Time is still a-flying: 
And this same flower that smiles to-day"
 To-morrow will be dying."


Most everyone is familiar with the aforementioned "quote" as it includes the words which are the opening stanza to Robert Herrick's famous poem, To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, a poem, that was the inspiration for the painting, Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May, by John William Waterhouse. The painting is pictured above in an image from Wiki.

As Wiki concurs, Herrick's poems were known for their "overriding message", that "life is short, the world is beautiful, love is splendid, and we must use the short time we have to make the most of it".

My garden has certainly been a help in my putting the well-worn make-the-most-of-life-philosophy into practice. The two pictures of the roses, featured below,


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

are of a rose that grows on one of the three shrubs of roses which I have growing in my urban (NYC) terrace garden where I grow eighty-plus things.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Follow Up: "the reindeer effect"

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

It is TGIF (Thank God It's Friday) on TLLG, and, as you undoubtedly know from a plan I posted this past October, I try to dedicate Fridays as an "opportunity" to follow-up on things which are in the news or which I have discussed, hence the clever post title, Friday Follow-Up 0-8

This past Tuesday on tumblr, (where I "send" TLLG Blog Spot followers on Tuesdays), I wrote about "the reindeer effect" in relation to a reindeer figurine, who lives in my indoor succulent garden, and I accompanied what I said with the following image of that particular reindeer.


Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Today's post has to do with some reindeer that are new arrivals  to my urban (NYC) terrace garden, and who can be seen in the photograph at the top of today's blog entry.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rockin' around the Hens and Chicks!

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

The succulent known as Hens and Chicks which I grow in my urban (NYC) garden is pictured above atop a "dining table," where I often entertain guests. This particular succulent makes a great center piece which is intriguing to all — including bottles of wines, spirits and cordials — as evidenced by their fascination with the aforementioned succulent. (They even bundled up in their winter gear — and it's not even that cold today — to come out of the liquor cabinet and into my garden to see this succulent).

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh, Wednesday's Wisdom, Where are you?


Today is Wednesday, a day I usually "reserve" for Wednesday's Wisdom, but I am not sure that I am feeling so wise about my personal or business related affairs today, on this Wednesday the Fourteenth of December, bringing us to the point where we only have eleven days until Christmas, when folks — if they are not already — will sing, "and so this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year over, a new one just begun . . . .", the lyrics from John Lennon's, Happy Xmas (War is Over). The song is haunting to me because I find it to be a reminder of what I have not achieved and what I've failed in doing, as described in a previous blog post on TLLG regarding this song.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"If it's Tuesday, it must be . . ." tumblr. Week Twelve "Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

It's Tuesday, so it must be tumblr but before I  lead you there, here's a little (as usual) digression: The images posted above are of my still-flowering-in-December Tropaelum majus (Nasturtium) and White Swan Echinacea both of which I grow in my urban (NYC) terrace garden

Additionally, my Helichrysum bracteatum (Strawflowers) and the roses, from all three of the shrubs that I have of them, are still thriving. This is quite unusual for this time of year in New York City, as by now we have usually had some snow.

Monday, December 12, 2011

"Life is like eating artichokes, you have got to go through so much to get so little."

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

One of the little succulent garden figurines who came to spend time in my indoor succulent garden (a garden that I decorate for all of the seasons, which I have written about in a number of blog entries on TLLG which you may refer to by clicking here) is Lady Artichoke (seen in the image above). 

She was featured in a post on nybg's (New York Botanical Gardens) tumblr about a week ago, and in that blog entry she is seen with her comrades in the following picture which accompanies that entry.

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

I return to Lady Artichoke today because of the Tad Dorgan (Thomas Aloysius Dorgan) quote, "Life is like eating artichokes, you have got to go through so much to get so little." 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"That's Life": Pearl Bailey's Influence on my Helichrysum bracteatum

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

The images posted above are of one of the Helichrysum bracteatum AKA Strawflowers that grow in my urban (New York City) terrace garden. They were taken on December 5th, 7th and 8th respectively. Like most of the things (80+) which I grow there, they love to sing. In fact, as you may recall, from a previous blog post (which you may read by clicking here), soon after this past Thanksgiving my Helichrysum bracteatum flowers, along with my White Swan Echinacea, were singing Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

This past week, however, they were singing, "That's Life", and putting emphasis on the following lyrics:

"That's life, I can't deny it, 
I thought of quitting, 
But my heart just won't buy it. 
Cause if I didn't think it was worth a try, 
I'd have to roll myself up in a big ball and die."

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Earth laughs in flowers?

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

Even now, as we are in the first week of the end of December, in New York City, where I live and have a terrace garden, my Tropaelum majus's (Nasturtium) flowers (in the image to the right) are still going strong; and they were in a particularly whimsical mood yesterday morning (when I took this picture), inspite of the torrents of chilly rainfall that we were experiencing. 

These red and yellow flowers like my "famous" no-slave-to-fashion herb, the White Swan Echinacea, and my CoCo Chanel loving ornamental grass varieties, Ophipogon planiscapus (Black Mondo Grass), which also grow in my garden, were joking about "rules" regarding what was fashionable, what was in style, and what was passé, when the Hamatreya skirt (pictured below, image credit is here) came up in their conversation.



The Hamatreya skirt has the same name as a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson, which has a line in it that is often (mistakenly) attributed to e.e. cummings, and the aforementioned line is this: "Earth laughs in flowers".

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remembering December 7th, 1941



Taking time out from blogging as well as minimizing my other activities today in exchange for moments of silence to remember those who lost their lives and their loved ones as the result of the attack on Pearl Harbor, seventy years ago today, and, also, to honor those who lost their lives and loved ones in the war that followed.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"If it's Tuesday, it must be . . ." tumblr. Week Eleven

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

As you know, one of my missions as The Last Leaf Gardener is to give the things I grow a voice, and I often do this by giving them the opportunity to author their own entries on TLLG. 

A few (there are many instances throughout TLLG) examples of this are entries which have been written by my Physocarpus opulifolius (Coppertina), as well as by my Helichrysum bracteatum (Strawflowers), my Ophipogon planiscapus (Black Mondo Grass), and one of my roses.

And, as you undoubedy recall, I also permit some of the objects in my terrace garden as well as some of the figurines which "live" in my indoor succulent garden to express their point of view. If you'd like to refer to the most recent blog posts on TLLG where this occurred, you may click here for the viewpoint of a terrace garden object, and here for the thoughts of Lucifer, one of my succulent garden figurines). 

But I digress. Today is all about the ram (pictured above) who is visiting my succulent garden for the holidays. He has inspired me to remind you of a passage from E.B. White's Charlotte's Web  (White is a TLLG fave please click here to see related posts.)

The ram, is a significant character in Charlotte's Web, because he is the one who tells Wilbur (the protagonist who is a lovable pig) that he is going to be killed and eaten after Christmas; this "conversation" prompted the friendship between Wilbur the pig, and Charlotte the spider. However, my little ram is not so malicious or mean spirited as the ram in White's story, and he wanted me to share a passage with you that is from Charlotte's Web.

Monday, December 5, 2011

"They sang him a ballad, and fed him on salad . . . "




Temperatures in New York City (where I live), have been pushing sixty degrees or more for the past several days, which is is quite unusual for this time of year in our area. However, today is December the Fifth, and in sixteen days it will officially be winter; hence, a good reason to include Mutts, one of my favorite comic strips, in today's blog entry with his "prophecy" regarding the inevitable "W" word which is inevitable.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Threescore men and threescore more . . .

Patricia Youngquist uses words and images to tell stories about her passions. Based in New York, she currently is authoring a series of nature books on birds of the city. Now in Apple’s iBooks store @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/words-in-our-beak/id1010889086?mt=11

. . . Cannot place Humpty Dumpty as he was before.


I regret there will be no posting today — don't ask why as I just may tell you. All I should say at this point, is life is more of the "all the king's horses and all the king's men unable to put (things) back together again" than it is "CTRL Z" or "EDIT/UNDO".  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Follow Up




As those of you who follow my blog know, ever since October 21, 2011, I have designated Friday as a day to follow-up on topics which have been mentioned here on TLLG.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

“How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

The Afternoon Before December  (November 30, 2011):

                         The Afternoon Before June  (May 30, 2011):
                   
     
Juan V and I did some "yard work" in my urban (New York City) terrace garden yesterday, the eve of this month of December, and I marveled at how it seemed that it was such a short time ago that we were getting the garden ready for summer, and I thought of Dr. Seuss's "query", “How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”