Pink and white

I can’t remember the last time I bought flowers. I have found such contentment in trimming the backyard and arranging cuttings of leaves and randomness in simple vases. I sometimes help a neighbor down the street by taking tiny snips of their Lilac tree. Can you blame me? I’m delighted with the large leafy palm in the back, floating my poppies now and again, and simplifying ranunculus singly.

I have a lovely friend Anne that has one of those fabulous San Francisco yards that gardener’s from out-of-state swoon over. I’m sure her neighbor’s don’t blink an eye, as their yards are just as rich with foliage and blossoms respectively.

The last time I saw her, she brought me gobs of fragrant Jasmine; twisted, blooming and viny. As well as so much Rosemary. Wow, the Rosemary. I love it, it’s incredible. I was trying to keep up with it. Drying it, adding it to arrangements and of course cooking with it. I paid her a visit recently and she promptly handed me some scissors and let me at it. The Jasmine is out of control right now, literally taking over the pathway of stairs to her front door. I snipped and sawed and pulled and certainly extracted as much as I could but really, she may have to go back with some heavy clippers and just trim it all back entirely. You feel so bad cutting it back, though it is very good for the plant, is growing like a weed. But even I would need a moment to organize just what to do with all that Jasmine.

Anne’s backyard is pure magic. Even in the dark.

(L) Jasmine vines. (R) Calla Lily

I think I mentioned in this blog once or twice that in Texas, Calla Lilies sold for about 7$ stem. Here in SF they grow wild and in if your lucky enough they are growing in your own back yard. Literally. Vendors on the street can get away with charging a dollar for them, other wise your better off just going outside to pick some because they are everywhere. They are such a beautiful flower. I have always connoted the flower with elongated elegance and with Mexico, because of the well-known painting Diego Rivera produced of his then wife Frida Kahlo’s sister (also his lover) sitting naked and holding armful of Callas. Such a beautiful painting though painful, the imagery.

In Anne’s backyard the Calla’s are growing towards the sky and at height of about 3 ft. They are simply phenomenal and the leaves are so wonderful on their own piled tall into a tall container , stuffed short in a black round vase with Orchids peeking out, or swirled in the bottom of a vase to conceal flower stems.

Group shot of Pink and White

On my way out the door I noticed she has a lovely blooming blossom tree. Not sure as to which kind it is, but I cut a small piece of it.

(L) Blossom branches with (R) Peony

If my eyes do not deceive me, I think these are first bloom Peonies. I snipped two. One is closed and the other is partially open. They smell incredible and I’m quite certain they are peonies.

Hiking in Tennessee Valley

It is spring time in Marin county and I have frequently been hiking in the Marin Headlands which is about a 10 minute drive from where I live. I take the Tennessee Valley trail that leads you straight to a little beach also called Tennessee that is  very secluded and very peaceful during the week. The hike to the beach takes about 30 minutes and it is a great trail to run on because of the uphill elevation.

Everything is bloom, and lush and green from all the recent rain we’ve had. I encountered a huge bush of golden pussy willow (above picture). These trees can reach over 10 ft. tall and the stems dry quite nicely.

Orange poppies sprouting up everywhere. I love the way the bud shape looks before the flower has opened. Reminds me of a tightly wound orange acorn teetering on a stem..

The flower on the right is purple but reminds me very much of a Texas blue bonnet. I am missing all the Texas wildflowers that are blooming alongside the highways at the moment…But in Texas calla lilies(above right) don’t grow wild like they do in California. I used to pay 7 dollars a stem for white calla lilies, and here they are commonly growing wild. I don’t mind that one bit.

The red flower on the left is growing alongside the trail and I have no idea what it is called. I’m thinking I may need to get a book about the local flora and fauna here in Marin…just a thought, I have many.

Needless to say Nature is incredibly inspiring. I am charmed by the random order in which plants and flowers grow in the wild. Organic landscape design that happens with ease in nature is very fascinating.