Simple stems

Back yard leaf. I’m not sure what branch from what tree this is, but I plucked it because of the shape. It has a lot of character and looks great on the mantle.

The previous week’s Coral charm Peonies have begun to open and fade.. Does charm fade? I think not! It only opens and transforms into a new beauty. And not wanting to completely discard an already opened bloom, I salvaged a pink flowering branch and a peony by floating them in a bit of shallow water. This lasted at least 3 days.

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.