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Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Sweet New Year

Here's wishing a happy and blessed Rosh Hashanah to those who celebrate the holiday. I was not raised in the faith associated with this day, so I confess that I do not even know if this is a proper salutation for whose who do honor it. 

While I have friends and colleagues who celebrate it, and who have shared a lot of information about Rosh Hashanah with me, most of my knowledge regarding its meaning, its religious significance, traditions and foods associated with it have come from, odd as it may seem, my parish priest, and, of course, the Internet. 

This is somewhat sad since I have "prominent" Jewish ancestors, from which I was taught nothing about observances or customs, because I did not even know of any of my Jewish roots until I was in my mid to late thirties. As a matter of fact, this aspect of my family history was only brought to my attention because of my keen interest in reading and writing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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

Cheers! Happy last Tuesday of September, a great "excuse" to have a Bees Knees, a cocktail whose recipe is from the 1920's, and can be seen pictured above in a unique tumbler. Speaking of tumblers,  I am happy to announce the latest "buzz" regarding yours truly, The Last Leaf Gardener: As of this Tuesday, and, from every Tuesday going forward, I will be posting on The New York Botanical Garden's blog which is on tumblr. At that location, just as you do here, you can read my posts, as well as view my new photographs. However, "over there" I have the ability to display my images differently, and I think, dear reader, that you will appreciate the esthetic.

Hence, from now on, every Tuesday morning, I will post a link from here, to take you to where I am located. Just remember, if it's Tuesday, it must be tumblr. The post which I am pointing you to today includes a recipe for Bees Knees. This "taste treat" was brought to my attention as a result of my being mesmorized by the bees in my urban terrace garden, pictured above enjoying the Hyssop in my garden; and, as you may recall, "my" bees have been mentioned in previous entries on this blog. These entires can be found here and here respectively.

And now, without further ado, the link to find my musings and photographs on tumblr, as well as the great cocktail recipe is here.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

. . . and so now we've got to say goodbye TO the summer . . .

The title ". . .  and so we've got to say goodbye TO the summer", for today's blog post, is not a misprint, for I am well aware of the Brian Hyland lyrics, to the "Bobby Vinton classic", Sealed With A Kiss, are, " . . . and so we've got to say goodbye FOR the summer"; however, since today is the second day of autumn and the last Saturday of September, it seems appropriate to put a spin on the lyrics.

Perhaps, my tendency to put a spin on lyrics comes from my departed father who often did this with a number of songs as discussed in a previous post which you may refer to by clicking here

His "spin" on Hyland's song was, ". . . and so we've got to say goodbye to the plumber."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Although (MY) garden is a lovely place, was it worthy of so fine a guest?'

A dragonfly came to see me — or my Sweet Autumn Clematis — in my urban (NYC) terrace garden earlier in the week, and since (A) summer is closing in on us (the season of autumn begins at five o'clock in the morning tomorrow) and (B) I live in a city, this was an unusual occurrence. 

Although the city I live in is New York City, and perhaps the creature had heard Frank Sinatra crooning, "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere. It's up you New York, New York . . . "

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"Busy, busy as a bee" — My Bees and Me: Canterbury Tales in my Terrace Garden

As you can see, the bees that are in all of the photographs featured within this blog post are, as the saying goes,"busy as a bee"The origin of the common simile "busy as a bee" is thought to be from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, (specifically The Merchant's Tale) written in the late 1380s. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Solemn Observance: "Blessed are those who mourn . . . "

There will be no posting today owing to a solemn observance of a friend's passing. I will return to posting on Tuesday, September 20th 2011.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Gaze up at the stars knowing that I see the same sky and wish the same sweet dreams." — Elizabeth Barrett Browning

September is passing quickly. Labor Day, the "unofficial" end of summer, and a day, among other things signifying the time that one is "supposed to stop wearing white" (until Memorial Day of the following year as I discussed in a previous post which you may refer to by clicking here) was ten days ago.

In the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumn Equinox will take place next week on Friday, September 23rd 2011 at 4:05 in the morning, and even though the Autumn Equinox (marking the "official" end of summer) is eight days away, the sun is already rising later now, and nightfall comes upon us sooner and sooner with each passing day. It is a time in many gardens — urban (like that of yours truly) and otherwise — in which many things are past their grandeur, but, in spite of this, an impressive, twining vine with a sensuous scent is in its glory, and its splendor is truly a signal that summer is passing, and that Autumn is barreling down on us.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Nyctinasty: A Flower's Moment of Silence

Because my last posting to this blog commemorated September the Eleventh, it seems disrespectful on some levels to forge ahead (in terms of today's entry), without making some type of segue. Since this is the second Tuesday of September, which is when the attacks took place ten years ago, it seems, on some levels, more of an anniversary of the terrorist attacks than this past Sunday (which was the actual date, and of course, is when the various Memorial Ceremonies to honor those who died in the terrorists' attacks took place). 

Perhaps I find myself thinking this way because Sundays and Tuesdays are very different days in Lower Manhattan: on most Sundays it's nearly a ghost-town, while on Tuesdays, especially in the morning hours (the time of day that the planes flew into the World Trade Center), the area is bustling with thousands of people hurrying to work, school, or other obligations. Therefore, this past Sunday when the Memorial Ceremony occurred in Lower Manhattan, while it was a day set aside for solemn remembrance — as it should be — it might have been hard for those who are not from the New York City area to have a sense of the effect that the September the Eleventh had on those who were not working at the World Trade Center, but who by way of their daily routine witnessed the horror: the ones who worked in areas surrounding the World Trade Center, or who went to school near there, or who were there for other obligations. They were also deeply affected upon seeing the devastation and witnessing persons jumping out of the burning Twin Towers.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September the Eleventh: Ten Years Later

As most of followers of this blog know, as per my schedule, I do not normally post on Sundays. However, when I was walking home from my weekly volunteer work, I happened upon this American flag, hanging from a window of a brownstone that is located on a quiet street, and I thought I'd include it in my blog on this solemn day for anyone who happens to be stopping by the LLG (Last Leaf Gardener); for  my seeing the flag evoked other thoughts that I'd like to share — even though I have written about the events of September the 11th both last year on the ninth anniversary of the attacks, as well as yesterday (on the eve of the tenth anniversary of the attacks).

Presumably, the flag was hung in the window to commemorate the anniversary of the September Eleventh terrorist attacks which took place ten years ago today. Seeing this flag prompted me to wonder if the folks who had hung it from their window, had lost someone near and dear to them in those attacks; and also my seeing the flag caused me to remember that, in the aftermath of the attacks, and for a number of years to follow, someone had hung an American flag in a window of a building which is directly north of where I live and a building that my garden faces.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9. 10. 11

While many folks wanted to honor this day because of the sequence of numbers ("9-10-11"), with a celebratory event, tomorrow is a somber day for it is the tenth anniversary of September 11th, 2001. I live in New York City now, as I did when the attacks took place.

Moreover, I came very close to working in the World Trade Center (WTC), a fact that I discussed in a blog entry, which  I made on September the 11th last year; where I made mention of the names of two women, Lashawana Johnson and Margaret Mattic; whom I had met at a job interview which I had had with General Telcom Inc. — a company which had been located on the Eighty-Third floor of One World Trade Center. My interview was ten years, and one month ago today, and that is also when I received the WTC ID (posted below) which I also included in last year's blog post

Thursday, September 8, 2011

REPRISE: "Love thy neighbor —  but don't pull down your hedge."

The photograph posted above shows my Cardinal Climber AKA Ipomocea  multifida or "CC" thoroughly enjoying its somewhat new (six weeks) digs in my urban terrace garden

As you may recall, the Cardinal Climber was a gift from a friend, who gave me some CC Plants near the onset of the last week of July.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Echinacea Plant Agrees With Coco Chanel! "Vous pouvez porter blanc toute l' année!"

Yesterday, which was Labor Day, one of my Echinacea plants got into a heated discussion with the other herbs, plants, flowers, vines, shrubs and trees, all of which I grow in my terrace garden

The topic of their controversy? 

The issue of wearing white after Labor Day. Their discussion was apparently brought on by all of them recalling an old news broadcast, which centered around the image posted below: if you would like to refer to this story please click here.

I have three varieties of Echinacea in my urban terrace garden: Harvest Moon, White Swan and Purpea, all of which they are pictured (respectively) below. It probably does not take too much guess work to figure out which one of these three varieties had the most vested interest in the subject.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"My September Baccalaureate": Journey Towards Elegant Lighting

Last week, at this very time, I was preparing for a hurricane who has ben named Hurricane Irene, which I discussed in this past Saturday's post, and in the conclusion of that entry, I reported that, in regards to Irene, I'd return to blogging with "hopefully little damage to report."

Thankfully, that was the case, as I've already indicated earlier this week. I am very grateful to God — though I don't express it nearly as much as I should. In fact, since I sleep on a foam pad — which is directly atop of my floor, I often don't kneel when I say prayers before going to sleep, although I did (as is the standard) kneel at mass yesterday, with thanksgiving that, in terms of Irene, I was unscathed; especially given the damage which Hurricane Irene did cause for many people, including those who live  on or near the Jersey Shore, a place, where I took the photograph (posted above) in late July, of a shore town's resident's garden fence with the affirmation, God Answers Knee-Mail. 

Since the place where I took this photograph is very near the ocean, I hope the folks who own the property as well as their surrounding neighbors did not sustain too much damage, but, whatever the case turned out to be, I am fairly certain they relied on their knee-mail to God to see them through the situation.

And speaking of God; are you, dear reader, familiar with the adage, If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans" ?

Well, what has happened, dear reader, is that I've recently discovered this very same  thing that happens with a muse. If you want to amuse your muse, tell him/her what you intend to write about. 

For as you may recall, dear reader, last Saturday I confessed that I had planed to write about my "journey towards elegant garden lighting", but my preparation for Irene took precedence. I did promise to return to my garden lighting epiphany today, but I admit that (because I have now been writing this entry in my head for over a week) my insights do not seem as poignant as they did last week, and I am tempted to renege on my promise; not out of an unwillingness to fulfill a task — but out of a bit of pride — that I may not sound as prolific in cyberspace as I do in my head, when it comes to the insights which I thought the new lighting system in my urban garden had taught me.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

"September morning still can make me feel this way . . . "

Well, here it is September . . .  a month in which thirty days shall pass, a month whose very name and implications (due to its timing in the calendar) has inspired song lyrics such as, "Try to remember, the kind of September . . . ", "Oh, let us make a pledge to meet in September . . .",  "September morning  still can make me feel this way . . . " and "By order, summer lingers through September, In Camelot . . . ".

As a gardener, I am in cahoots with the things which I grow in my urban terrace garden (including herbs, vines, flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees) in that I am not a fan of the heat of summer; however, we (the things I grow in my garden and myself) do like the longer hours of sunlight that summer brings, and we are always a bit sad with the shorter amount of daylight hours which is brought on by the fall season.