Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday: The High Line in August

Y'all might recall that I had a little surgical adventure back in November of last year. I would have preferred to wait until summer when the weather turns evil and time outside is necessarily limited by the heat and humidity.  The Executive Producer was loath for me to wait, so I acquiesced, not altogether gracefully, given that this surgery required I spend 8 weeks of great gardening weather under serious activity restrictions.  What really made me cranky, though, was not getting the results I needed from the surgery.  By March it was clear that tweaking was necessary but I was danged if I would miss out on spring gardening.  Evil weather arrived in July, as it always does, and I scheduled the follow-up procedure for August 9th.  I'm happy to say that improvement was immediate and the restrictions are less onerous this time.  But I still had to take it easy that first week.

So I was sitting in my comfy chair the week after surgery, feeling pretty good but fed up with the weather and to be quite truthful, the garden as well, at least that which can be seen from the vantage point of the comfy chair. Too little rain and too much heat has the back garden looking pretty sad.   I had the Sunday edition of the New York Times at hand and was reminded once again how much I wanted to see a couple of shows in particular.  And that's when I got a little crazy and booked myself a flight to NYC, tickets for 2 shows and a night's stay in a hotel for this past weekend.  I left Houston at 11 AM and by 3 PM CST, I was sitting in Bryant Park with a glass of prosecco, enjoying cooler air and the delights that only New York can provide.

Me in Bryant Park
Saturday night, I took myself to the Music Box Theatre to see PIPPIN.  What a visual feast: the Players outdid themselves in their dancing and acrobatics.  My only regret was that Andrea Martin was on hiatus this month so I didn't get to see her Tony award-winning performance.  

Sunday morning, I had the pleasure of the company of fellow blogger Monica Hemingway of Gardening Products Review, who took the train in from Connecticut so we could visit the High Line together.   Although I've been to the High Line on most of my trips to NYC, this is the first time I've seen it in full and glorious bloom.  The prairie/meadow wildflower plantings are spectacular, made all the more so for their juxtaposition against their urban setting.  So here are a few pictures from my iPhone of the High Line Players, as colorful and varied as those I saw onstage!

I can't find this one on the plant list or I don't recognize it. Anyone?

I think this one is Amorpha canescens, Lead Plant.

Liatris aspera, Blazing Star

New York Ironweed, Vernonia boracensis 

This was probably our favorite planting area.

On the street below, backhoes and construction equipment
have scraped the ground raw. What a contrast!

The Amsonias absolutely glowed!  Oh, to get them to do that here.
Hello, my name is Cindy and I'm a hopeless believer in lost causes.

The rich colors of Helenium 'Rubinzwerg' make me sigh. 

One of my favorite things about the High Line is the inclusion of these staggered beams 
that echo the old rail lines and provide niches for plants.  I'm betting many of these are

Monica and I enjoyed lunch at Colicchio and Sons, followed by a stroll through Chelsea Market, before parting ways in the Theater District.  I was privileged to attend the final performance of VANYA & SONIA & MASHA & SPIKE and to witness possibly the single most brilliant monologue ever performed, by the inimitable David Hyde Pierce.  Christopher Durang's play was hilarious and poignant ... and well worth almost missing my flight home!

Wildflower Wednesday, on the last Wednesday of each month, is hosted by Gail of CLAY AND LIMESTONE.  Do stop by her blog and see what other wildflowers are blooming and where!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Making Friends In The Garden

Gaura 'Siskiyou Pink' from David of Tropical Texana

One of the best things about gardening on my corner of Katy is the opportunities it gives me to meet other gardeners and garden enthusiasts.  That's partly how I became acquainted with David of Tropical Texana, now counted as a dear friend. We exchange plants and stories of our successes and failures: I am happy to report that after numerous failed attempts to grow Gaura 'Siskiyou Pink', the plant David gave me is thriving!  When David first started blogging and I became one of his readers, I had no idea that he was the same Mr P who taught at the elementary school my children had attended.  I knew that Mr P was a gardener because we'd met and talked at a daylily sale once years ago.  It was something of a "well, duh" moment when I finally put it all together.  It also turns out he was a regular drive-by visitor to my corner.

Green Anole on the Gaura
Last Saturday, as I was working out front, I met another drive-by regular, who brought her mom by to see the gardens.  She asked if I had time to give them a little tour and of course I said yes. There's nothing I enjoy more than sharing my gardens with appreciative visitors, unless it's sharing it with fellow gardeners!  Maria and her mother Maria were both and I so enjoyed strolling around the gardens, sharing plants and seeds with them and hearing about their gardens. Maria Senior had a beautiful accent: when I asked where she was from, her daughter Maria told me they were Portuguese and had emigrated here from the Azore Islands in 1967-68.  That's one of many places I'll probably never see but now I have a connection to it through them.  And so my world expands ...

Speaking of expansion, here's another friend in my garden: a green anole lizard, inflating his dewlap in his search for female companionship.  I knew what that pouch was called thanks to David, who shared info about the Green Anole in his most recent post.  It makes me happy to think about how much larger my world has become since I became a gardener.  Then I think about how much larger it WILL be because of gardening and it boggles my mind!  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three for Thursday: Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day August 2013

The HG and I made a brief foray into the blazing sun to capture three of our favorite blooms for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day.  The HG apologizes for the poor quality of the pictures ... I used my iPhone instead of my good camera.  It's too hot to have that dang G11 hanging around my neck!  

Bauhinia galpinii. This is from the plant I call Cher ... my original B. galpinii goes
by the name of Tina Turner because she took the worst Ike had to offer and
went on to become a real diva. There's a picture in this post I wrote
the day after Hurricane Ike.

White Texas Star Hibiscus (H. coccineus 'Alba') ... isn't the
star inside the blooms just the coolest thing ever?

Hymenocallis spp.
Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day is the monthly celebration of blooming beauty in the gardens of bloggers around the world.  Click on over to May Dreams Gardens, home to GBBD instigator and Elizabeth Lawrence aficionado, Carol!