Thirty Days in the Garden: Minor Amusements

My garden serves up minor amusements now and again, little surprises that make me grin. Here’s a recent one:

Something ate a hole in this California poppy making me think of a tent for a traveling snail.

Motel 6 for mollusks

Equally amusing but more annoying, is the weed that gets a foothold in the center of an established plant. There is no way to get the weed out by the roots without completely uprooting the shrub. I manage to get my gloved hand under the low branches of each perennial, only to come away with part of the weed and no roots.

The weeds aren’t thumbing their noses at me, are they?

Some amusements are more along the lines of quaint, like this self-seeded lavender. Planted by the wind or a bird, the starter plant grows in a small pot surrounded by succulents. It’s nice of the container to host this little upstart, but now the plants are probably intertwined. Stay tuned for updates.

Lavender looking small and unassuming
This is how big the plant will get
I hope they all get along. It appears that the succulents are reproducing.

This photo is reminiscent of my girlhood. I was taller than average, rail-thin, with bright red hair. I longed to be one of the pretty-in-pink-petite girls, but alas I only grew taller. I’m at peace with my uniqueness now, but I wouldn’t want to relive those early years.

A praying mantis is oddly amusing, but startling as well. They show up during the summer months in shades of brown like this one, or green. They pivot their head giving you that odd feeling of being watched. The mantis is good for the garden, as long as they leave the hummingbirds in peace.

This ceramic lizard was destined for the trash. Like a lot of children, my son loved creating art. Then he reached adolescents and decided it wasn’t worth saving. I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, so I moved a few pieces into the garden. It was amusing to discover that a plant had taken root in the center of the lizard’s tail.

I’ve shared this tip with some of my organizing clients, who are reluctant to part with ceramic pieces from their child’s grade school. The ceramic holds up well in the garden, it frees shelf space in the home, and it creates a wonderful conversation-starter when guests happens upon the garden treasure.

My favorite amusement of all is finding Tessa incognito.

Where’s Tessa?

Who doesn’t like a game of hide and seek?

I hope you find ways to amuse yourself this weekend.

Talavera Dove: Brimming with Goodness

My son gave me this beautiful Talavera Dove flower-pot for Christmas last year.  I kept it indoors during the winter months, but once the weather improved I placed it on the deck.  After a couple of heatwaves, the lemony-yellow coleus doubled, than tripled in size.  This week it flowered.  Now the pot feels more like a peacock then a dove, with its fanning plumage.

Talavera Dove

Talavera Dove with Coleus

According to Wikipedia:

Talavera is a type of majolica earthenware, distinguished by its white base glaze.[1] Authentic Talavera pottery only comes from the city of Puebla and the communities of Atlixco, Cholula and Tecali, as the clays needed and the history of this craft are both centered there. All pieces are hand-thrown on a potter’s wheel and the glazes contain tin and lead, as they have since colonial times. This glaze must craze, be slightly porous and milky-white, but not pure white. There are only six permitted colors: blue, yellow, black, green, orange and mauve, and these colors must be made from natural pigments. The painted designs have a blurred appearance as they fuse slightly into the glaze. The base, the part that touches the table, is not glazed but exposes the terra cotta underneath. An inscription is required on the bottom that contains the following information: the logo of the manufacturer, the initials of the artist and the location of the manufacturer in Puebla.

In our age of mass production, it’s fun having a garden pot with a bit of old-world tradition. It’s nice having the long, warm summer days to enjoy it, too.

Have a great weekend!

talavera pottery

What’s on Deck