Monday, September 24, 2007

I Know An Old Lady...

"I know an old lady who swallowed a fly;
I don't know why she swallowed a fly!
I guess she'll die!"

A lot of children still read Rose Bonne's story "I Know An Old Lady" -- surely one of the grimmest children's poems in existance. It's been cutesy-fied and cleaned up, of course. But a couple of years ago, my brother presented me with a fabulous gift: the 1961 hardback version that we had in our childhood, a book filled with the strange, abstract and wonderfully grotesque illustrations of Abner Graboff.

I look back on things like this and wonder how they influenced my life today, especially in my appreciation for creatures that so-called normal people find abhorrent.

For instance: I love spiders. Currently, we have a fabulous, gigantic cross spider on the outside of our kitchen window that I could watch for hours. I've dubbed her Shelob for her intimidating size (although she's only about 3" at full stretch and doesn't seem to have a taste for Hobbits).

It kind of breaks my heart to think of all the people who are scared enough by spiders to instantly squash or gas them at first site. These are incredibly beneficial insects...not to mention fascinating, strong and gifted. I think lately there are many times I would like to have eight appendages and eyes. And a pair of venomous fangs. heh.

But I digress. I have carried on to the point of boredom about how great spiders are. For you guys, it's like singing to the choir, right?

I am less loving of house flies, for sure. But that hasn't stopped me from stealing from the nasty pests for my Halloween costume this year; my husband and I are going to a party as the two morphed characters of the classic 1958 movie The Fly: the lab-coat wearing, claw-flashing, fly-headed creature (me, probably), and the fly-bodied man-headed being (hubby).

Believe it or not, I got the idea about a year ago after stripping off my black bra, tossing it toward my husband, and watching it land on and straddle his head like - you guessed it - a pair of fly's eyes.

Inspiration comes from the strangest places, doesn't it?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Recent Orders

While I obviously haven't been doing much gardening blogging lately, (too busy fretting about whether a certain mortgage lending company I now work for is going to stay afloat), it doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about gardening. And having a regular paycheck means I can buy plants again...woohoo!

Here's a look at some orders I've placed lately:

Dutch Gardens - I know...I am a bigtime sucker for ordering from these guys yet again...
Fire Of Love Tulip
Ginger Ale Heuchera
Coconut Lime Coneflower
Sumatra Amaryllis

Bluestone Perennials - The Centranthus aka Jupiter's Beard isn't available until Spring, which I'm really bummed about.
Agastache Apricot Sprite
Nepeta Subsessillis
Achillea Terra Cotta
Achillea Walter Funke
Digitalis Obscura
Kniphofia uvaria Flamenco
Salvia East Friesland
Muscari Golden Fragrance
Gaura Corrie's Gold

White Flower Farm - I've never ordered from WFF before; they're a little pricey, but I had to have both of these coneflowers.
Echinacea purpurea Green Envy
Echinacea Tiki Torch
Grass Hakonechloa macra Beni Kaze
Festuca glauca Boulder Blue

Garden Crossings - The current special is great: free shipping on orders $75 and up. I like this company a lot anyway - their plants are always large and healthy and their website is simple but efficient.
Origanum Kent Beauty
Clematis Avante-Garde
Viola Black Magic
Echinacea Summer Sky
Itea Little Henry
Hosta Hanky Panky
Campanula Pink Octopus

It should be a busy fall. I've decided to go ahead and have some "big things" done in the yard around November 1. Namely, the removal of all of the remaining yuccas by the swimming pool, the holly bushes in the front, and a fairly large but nasty garbage-tree that got a horrendous case of bagworms. The bagworms were a pretty common problem around Dallas this year, but this particular tree has been the bane of both my neighbor's (it's apparently blocking his dish reception) and my existance for some time. So out it goes.

I'm not looking forward to the bill for any of this, but... *sucking in a deep breath* needs done.