Category Archives: plants

7/18/07 – Promoting Weeds; More about Smalltalk

Since I was a child I’ve had a special thing for plants. Their sheer diversity and vigor just astonishes me. Animals are unevolved when compared with their greener cousins. Because of this I’ve always had a plant or two around and some I’ve had for almost 20 years (not bad when you consider I’m only 34). Anyway, one of the sidebars in this interest has been a fascination with those plants that despite all our best efforts still manage to find a place our yards. I’ve spent a lot of time in the yard for the 10 years we’ve had a house and I’ve become familiar with a lot of these invaders. At least enough to refer to them by consistent names that I’m about 90% sure are completely wrong: “Bay Tree”, “That thing that I think is a Cornflower”, “That little tiny thing that looks a lot like a raspberry bush.” Yesterday for the first time since in a LONG time I actually bothered to do something to try to familiarize myself with these with a bit more intimacy. I’ve officially promoted several specimens out of the status of ‘weeds.’ This is relatively simple since the moniker of weed is a somewhat arbitrary one and all one need to it dig a weed from the ground and put in a pot to make this simple transition. I’m all atwitter to see what these tiny and durable gnomes grow into with all the care I can give them. Most interesting perhaps to the general populous will be just HOW BIG will a dandelion get if you give it optimal growing conditions? Ironically, I think I may have accidentally killed my first attempt to transplant a dandelion. Those taproots are just too long to make them easily adopted.

The second bit of wind for this post is yet more crap about smalltalk. I’m pretty sure I’ve covered this in some vague way in the past and acknowledged to myself (if not to the blog) that smalltalk, while completely obnoxious to my sensibilities of not wasting words, sadly required. This all came up again because one of my associates from work sent along an interview with the author of “How to work a Room.” Now, anyone who knows me at ALL knows that I’d sooner eat the entire contents of my ‘sharps jar’ in the garage than ‘work a room.’ Despite that, I’m apparently going to obtain and read this book because it has become apparent that this idea of ‘random socializing’ is really the ONLY way to get what I want out of other people. For my entire life (adult or otherwise) I’ve been looking for that “Fred and Barney” (you know, those guys from the Flintstones) type friendship with someone else. And no, not a “Bert and Ernie” type friendship, I think we all know what was going on there. My wife can call up any one of about 4 or 5 people and ask them to go shopping with her. It’s frigging magic of some sort. If I want someone to go to the bookstore with… well, I can probably BEG someone into going if I have to but even the list of people I’d consider begging would be pretty short and 1 of those 2 candidates is my father-in-law.

In a way, it’s deeply frustrating because I’m not entirely certain what the problem is though there are plenty of candidates.

* Am I simply too nerdy for people in this area? That’s highly doubtful as I’ve met some delightfully nerdy people.

* Am I too much of an ass? That’s probably potentially part of it. I am relatively self-absorbed and tend to neglect people in favor of… well, random blog entries and long lists of dry literature.

* Are people in this country just not friendly as they used to be? Perhaps culture has changed so we don’t seek this out as we used to? Perhaps partly but I cannot believe that this is generally the case. The more I see of other people the more I realize we’re all basically the same except for he bells and whistles.

* Have I simply failed to see the right people in the right places and failed to recognize them when I find them? Most assuredly so. This is at least one problem that the smalltalk bit may help with. As a mechanism for sussing out like-minded people smalltalk has no substitute so perhaps making that work is the right answer. At this point though, there just aren’t a whole lot of people about. I work from home. In an average week I talk to exactly 3 adults and they’re all related to me. This should probably change before I go totally mad.

All that said, there is a VERY small contingent of people that still bother to seek me out on a regular basis. Perhaps I should start by being more attentive to them and perhaps they’ll introduce me to all their friends.

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July 07 Garden Photos

For the truly bored, the July 07 Garden photos are posted.

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Yes, once again it…. Hibiscus Time

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July 12, 2007 · 7:54 pm

Puttering around in the Yard

I always chide myself because I completely fail to take pictures of the thing I spend so much time on in the summer. Then I ask myself stupid questions in the fall like, “Hmm… did those Peonies ever bloom this year or not?” So, for once this year…

The whole set of photos appears here but a random assortment can be found below.

From the front… I’m always amazed at how good my camera is at completely washing out anything that’s not green…

There’s nothing sadder than an empty hand-made trellis…

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned how much I hate these Juniper bushes…

The motley collection of random plants along the in-law side of the house…

Isn’t this just like watching your uncle’s vacation slide show?

Yeah, that honeysuckle in the corner… really needs something a bit bigger than that bench to climb on. What bench you say? Exactly.

I probably haven’t mentioned that it’s almost Hibiscus time!

This is the corner where I started all this crap. As a note to my future self, “yes, dumbass, the peonies did bloom this year.”

Odd-shaped island in the corner of the property. I’m guessing the neighbors are somehow not amused by these considering all my leftover bulbs go in here.

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Roll Call

Alright, brace yourselves. For those with delicate mental conditions I urge you to click “Next Blog” now because this is going to be one HELL of a boring post. Yeah, you heard me. Just like a year ago when I told you about Mike. You know, that big thing that lives with me? This is going to be even more dull so I advise you to just move on before you fall asleep.

Since I was a wee lad I’ve always had this bizarre fascination with green, happy growing things. I’m not 100% sure why but I suspect that it’s primarily a good healthy respect for the thought that a biological organism can take air, water, sunlight and trace soil nutrients and turn them into an entire tree. Ya gotta admit, that’s pretty impressive.

Because of this good healthy respect, I’ve acquired quite a few of our good photosynthetic friends over the years and now seems a good time to call the current roll. It’s sad that I don’t have any pictures of Mike or Paul from their youth so I’m trying to avoid making the same mistake twice. Anyway, here goes.

Oh, before you ask, yes, each plant has a name and it’s not merely because I’m completely insane and tend to towards anthropomorphizing things. There’s a thin ribbon of logic in all cases between the plant and its given name. Sometimes it’s a damn fine thread but it’s there. Anyone who can guess the reason for even 10 out of the 16 plants’ names wins a free lunch. Yeah, you heard me. Free lunch! but you’ll have to come to Indy to collect it.

Yes, here we have the ever-miserable Parker. He’s been around here for about 4 years. Given as a gift to my wife by one of her students as a mere tiny tendril…

Clearly the dry air of the house just doesn’t agree with him.
Ever on the lookout for irony, the next three were salvaged from the funereal planters from my Uncle Don’s funeral. That was about 3 years ago give or take.

There’s Archie…

… and Felix…

… and finally Joseph.

Joseph, like Parker, is not a fan of the dry air inside.

At one point, my daughter was envious of Mike so she purchased and bought the next subject, Pointy.

Okay, more irony for the next eight. The Lowes here in Beech Grove has absolutely NO clue how to care for the houseplants they keep in stock. I’m relatively sure that NONE of them have ever been watered. If they don’t sell within about 3 days they’re dead as door knockers. Well, with one set of exceptions. Ironically, the plants most capable of surviving such neglect are on clearance at 75% off so I picked up these 8 at $.54 to $.75 each.








and lastly, Buddy.


And the last set of three miserable specimens was saved from a botanical research lab. Well, actually, my wife the science teacher was experimenting on them. Same diff really…



and Stella.


Okay, that’s finally it. This’ll be so fun to look back on in a year when I realize I’ve chucked every one of these in the bin. Oh, and if you’ve actually made it this far, g’night! Rest well!

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The Boys…

Hey. Remember back… oh, two and a half years ago when I told you about Mike. Yeah, you know, Mike the Dracaena Marginata (Not, apparently Draco) plant who lives in my house. Anyway, it seems apparent that he’s impossible to kill. He comes to mind as worth recording something about now since he recently came inside for the winter. At 7 feet tall and standing in our living room he comes to mind quite a bit.

So indeed, that’s Mike. Now celebrating about 18 years in the family more or less. No way to be sure with my lousy recollections.

Now lest some other persons in the family get jealous it’s probably wise if I also introduce Paul as well. Paul, like Mike, has been around for about 18 years and also started out in one of those tiny little 3-inch pots. Now Paul does me the grand favor of breaking his ever-growing pot about once a year.

This year when I brought him inside for the winter my wife was absolutely THRILLED to discover that a family of moles had burrowed their way into the pot and were actually LIVING in Paul’s root ball. I’m pretty sure I’ll never hear the end of that…


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That time of year again

Yes… once again, it’s that time of year we all wait for… it’s Hibiscus time…

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