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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.

He is planted in a container in the northeast corner of my urban (NYC) terrace garden, where I have (in the height of the growing season) eighty-plus thriving things, including vines, grasses, succulents, plants, salad greens, herbs, flowers, shrubs, as well as other trees, and he has a bird's-eye-view into the windows of the building directly north of me, where, according to my Larix Kaempferi, folks spend a lot of time watching reruns of Seinfeld. 

You, dear reader, can see a full view of my Larix Kaempferi, in the upper righthand corner of the second image within the photo collage at the top of today's blog entry. I have had this lovely tree for a number of years; however, this will be only the third year that it has had a star — in honor of the Christmas holidays. A close-up of my Larix Kaempferi with his star can be seen in the lefthand image of the photo collage.

The first year (December 2009), that the star became a part of "holiday decor" for my garden, it was secured atop a bamboo pole that I had placed within the Larix Kaempferi's container for the winter season. The pole not only served as a stand for the star to protect my Larix Kaempferi's tree-top, but it also served as an anchor for my sweet tree. This is because I tied my tree to the poe in order to protect it in the then forthcoming winter season's high winds and any heavy snowfall. 

The function of this bamboo pole in relation to my  Larix Kaempferi is evidenced in the photograph (taken in December 2009 after the things I grow had been wrapped for the winter 09-010 season) which is posted below — an image you may recognize from prior blog entries on TLLG.

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 @

My rooftop garden has undergone many changes since that star's first year, including the placement and removal of objects that have been a part of the ambience. It was this past May that Juan V and I removed my SODAS sign (discussed in a prior post which you may refer to by clicking here). And several months prior to the removal of my sign, I had removed all the lights that surrounded the railing of my terrace (seen here on either side of the SODAS sign) to make a clear path for the branches of my Actinida kolomikta and Actimida (Kiwi Vines). My removal of the railing lights is something that you might recall from a post I made last December.

The major change in my garden objects, has been Juan V's installation of my overhead string lights, which  you can see in the right hand image of the photo collage. They form an "X" shape that spans my entire terrace. I wrote about this lighting system on TLLG, in a post that you will find by clicking here.

These overhead string lights are supported by four silver colored poles that are in the four corners of my garden. Ones pole's proximity to my Larix Kaempferi's seasonal star is what started the conversation in my garden today regarding Festivus

According to my Larix Kaempferi — and I double checked his facts with Wiki — who is in agreement that "The holiday's [Festivus] includes an unadorned aluminum 'Festivus pole'." 

In any event, my Larix Kaempferi, felt — based on the Seinfeld episode he watched when the characters discussed the use of the pole — that he was being upstaged by what has become an icon. Indeed, my Larix Kaempferi may be correct: the practice of Festivis has become quite the fad. According to Wiki, "In 2005, Governor Jim Doyle was declared 'Governor Festivius' and during the holiday season displayed a Festivus Pole in the family room of the Executive Residence in Madison, Wisconsin. Govenor Doyle's 2005 Festivus Pole is now part of the Wisconsin Historical Museum."

However as much as I love my Larix Kaempferi and respect his opinion, I'm not moving the pole, and so, my Larix Kaempferi will have to co-exsist with the pole, but perhaps I'll have to monitor his television watching — especially if it brings up such insecurities!

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