Tag Archives: plants

Sumac stealth

“Ugh, it’s hot. My app says it’s 97.”

“My app says it’s 94. Rain at 2:00.”

“Mine’s showing it holding off ‘til 4:00”

This conversation, nearly verbatim, happens to an embarrassing degree in our house. I’m not sure whether it speaks more to being married for more than thirty years or to being over-reliant on our devices.

It was really too hot to be poking around scrub land behind retail space in search of sumac, but there we were. Finn’s tags fell off somewhere along the way this week necessitating a trip to Pet Co. We left the dog home and brought along gloves, spade, and two empty containers.

My mother was famous for plant-grabbing. She’d drive up into the woods behind our house in Pittsfield as far as the road would go, and fill the trunk with small trees which eventually, of course, became big trees. My brother claims she got permission from the landowner. I’m not so sure.

I’d seen her pull over on Route 43 or Dalton Road and dig up what to any other eye might appear to be a weed, perhaps with a spoon that she happened to have in the glove box. A little savage. Let’s just say she was a resourceful opportunist with a very good eye. This being her birth week, I figured why not honor her with my own sly acquisitions?

Last weekend, we more legitimately came by a clethra and a yew. These are all for the fence line along the back edge of the property. I also had to buy and plant two flats of pachysandra which the workers stomped to extinction on my neighbor’s property. Part of the price of our new fence.

And speaking of that neighbor. The son has come home with his girlfriend to live and turns out, the girlfriend is interested in learning how to quilt. Would I want a student? I almost said no, but I’m already thinking what I’d bring to a casual show and tell for a first lesson. And if the main reason I don’t want to proceed is because I can’t think what to charge a recent college grad with no job, then is that really a reason?

I sent my neighbor away with a few books and gave her Jude’s blog’s name. Ruth McDowell’s too. The young woman is an engineer so it occurred to me that McDowell’s precise piecing method may appeal to her. That’s a place to start, answering the question: What are you drawn to?

Meanwhile, I finished this with a little help from my friends (speaking of Jude, also Maggie and Jenn) (mostly re: a disappearing head. I think I fixed it!)

blossoms transformed – or, Jack’s gift to me II

One of Jack’s parting gifts to us is the transformation of our hydrangea. It took me a while to figure this one out.

Our bush normally produces white-bluish blossoms.

I had not tampered with the soil in any way.

During his decline, Jack started to bypass the two-steps down to the driveway, and to scoot through the garden instead. As he got more and more tired, he did his business closer and closer to the house.

Which eventually meant that he was peeing directing under the hydrangea.

And voila! Blue turned pink from the acidic urine, counteracting the base leaching from our foundation. I love that I can see the blossoms from my chair inside, and that I pass the plant every time I go in and out of the house.

With school starting (and it being the New Year for many neighbors), the day is very, very quiet. Most of the crews have packed up and gone elsewhere. Yahoo.

Late Feb Mosaic

1. Slip stitch pattern, prior to blocking, 2. travellers palm, 3. hairpin banksia, 4. JunkerJane Textile Art, 5. objectart 1/ emotion, 6. detail 3, 7. painted wall sign, 8. journey cloth_15, 9. Sleepers, Awake (detail), 10. Yawn… Maddie and Harry…, 11. Blue angel, 12. School Days, 13. Jane Austen – structural experiments – detail, 14. Synthesis #21, 15. Books, 16. Alger. Casbah, 17. Blown up., 18. House nestled in Vineyard, Fall Nature in Germany, 19. The Flying dog – The strange case of the dog who jumped over his shadow, 20. Work Quilt #3 – Detail

Grey Sunday outside of Boston has me choosing a mix of hot oranges and cool blues…. enjoy.

Canada’s hockey team just scored again — I’d better go watch!