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Saturday, April 30, 2011

You can learn a lot of things from the flowers, in the merry merry month of....well, April.

 I had a fantastic Saturday with my Mom, despite my lungs and throat feeling sandblasted, gunky, and sounding like a wheezing, braying mule when I cough and breathe. Strangely enough, I had plenty of energy earlier today though. But now, my butt is planted firmly in my knitting chair by the window, and I don't intend to move for a while. So what did we do? I'm so glad you asked. It was supposed to be a "crafting" day, but turned into a "gardening" day instead. No objections here.
(As always, click on pics to view larger versions. They're really great.)

We went to Plant Depot in San Juan Capistrano, which is probably my favorite nursery. Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach is impressive, but waaaaay overpriced. This is Plant Depot (I always call it "Plant Despot")
Well, a very small part of it, anyway
Here's the coolest part of Plant Depot:

Chubby koi. If you don't get that
 reference, go watch "Exit to Eden".
 Better yet, don't.
Make sure you get my good side

No paparazzi, please
 Turtles (lots of turtles!), koi, waterfalls, it's all very zen and serene. I love this place.

I IMMEDIATELY thought of my best friend, Morgan when I saw these black flowers. If I could send them to England for you, Morg, I totally would. So incredibly beautiful! Mom said "Wouldn't it be cool to do a black and white garden?" I wanted to. Badly.

These are just a few of the flower macros I shot with my beloved Coolpix L120. There are more, but I didn't want to bog you down here. I strongly urge you to go HERE to see the rest. I promise, there's not millions. You won't regret it. You would make me very happy if you went there and said "ooh!! Great shots, Boo!" *Hack hack* wouldn't want to disappoint a poor sick girl, would you? I love comments. LOVE them. They make me feel like I matter. 
Here's our haul from the Plant Depot:

Don't mind my messy Element. 
After we reveled in our spoils and talked all about what we were going to do with our succulents, ferns (mine), and coleus (coleii?), we drove down to San Clemente to have some lunch at Baja Fresh and check out Lowe's. Did you know they closed the Charo Chicken on Pico? I WAS SO UPSET!! My mouth was all ready for a big giant Charo burrito with black beans and guacamole, and it was GONE! *sob*. Baja Fresh was a "meh" substitute. Goodbye, Charo Chicken. I'll miss you. At Lowe's, I looked for the proper type of soil to suit my terrarium project. Then I found the COOLEST PLANT EVEEERRRRRRRR! *echo echo echo* No, really. It's the niftiest thing I've ever seen. My Mom was appalled *appalled!* that I hadn't heard of these before. She feels like she failed as a mother who raised her daughters to love plants as much as she does. It's a
and it's supposed to get some pretty fluffy pink blooms in the summer too!
It was $3, I had to have it. Here's a video I took when I got it home to show you what it does. The background music was our soundtrack for the day, a Pandora station based on Django Reinhardt. Very fun and relaxing. Anyway, the video!

Isn't that the craziest plant you've ever seen?! I'm so in love with it. I asked my Mom how long it takes to unfurl, and she said "I guess it depends on how traumatized it is." Then she harrassed it a bit and made it shrink up again. I said "hey! Be nice!" And she said "it'll recover." 

It sounds totally stupid, but all of a sudden, I loved that plant with my whole entire heart. I've been on a bit of a self-help kick lately, reading Tiny Buddha (awesome website), searching for non-hokey happiness books, etc. Not that I'm UNhappy, persé, but sometimes we could all use a little boost. I'm all about self improvement lately. Hence, the yoga. Anyway, that was so profound and made me want to cry a little. No matter what trauma that plant goes through, it'll recover. It might shrink up a bit on itself and protect itself for a while, but gradually it'll open back up and be its old self again. I want to name this plant. Seriously. I could use some suggestions! My camera still doesn't have a name either, but it'll come in time, since nobody had any ideas. 
First I took some tiny succulents and made this little landscape pot:

So cute and tiny!!
Then I tackled the terrarium project:
Two coleus (coleii?), a tiny african violet, some scotch moss, and two hedgehogs. Just 'cause.
What do you think? I hope I did it right, and that it won't turn into a humid pile of mush in a couple of weeks. Anybody out there ever make plant terrariums? 

It was such a relaxing afternoon, Django Reinhardt playing in the background, the sun shining, playing with plants.... even the dogs just chilled out and relaxed.
Loki's very proud of himself for helping 

Rowan and Seamus are actually co-existing instead of chomping
on each other! It's a springtime miracle!!
I took the leftovers from the 6-pack of the coleus (coleii?) and the rest of the scotch moss and made a little "throw it all together, it's so pretty" pot, and the fern went into its new home in my indoor window box next to my knitting chair.

All in all, a wonderful day. Even though my skin hurts, my lungs hurt and are trying to escape through my esophagus, I'm very contented and relaxed. I'm even sipping a bit of wine. 
Everybody in their new homes:
Extra tiny succulents in some tiny pots I had lying around. What do you think?

Left to right - sensitive plant (yet to be named, help please!), extras pot,
and far right is the succulents landscape
It's all foggy now, but that's what a terrarium should do
As a matter of fact, I'm so serious about wanting help naming this sensitive plant (mimosa pudica...mimosa? Yes please!) that I'm going to have a little contest giveaway in the hopes that it might create a little more interest. SO!! Here it is: If you submit a name, you'll be entered to win two mini skeins of sock yarn from The Yarn Lady in Lake Forest. They're called "Sock Bites". This stuff is gorgeous, people. It's enough to knit your own Boogie Earbuds, or two or three pairs (my sister knit an entire baby hat out of the larger size you see below)
There's no indication of what the fiber content is, but it's extremely soft and squishy.
Really good stuff. You'd get both of these!
 or if you're not a knitter (I'm an equal opportunity blogger), you can win a custom B.Clef small wallet much like this one: (only made to your preferences)

Let's see those suggestions! The winner will be randomly chosen from the name suggestion comments at 10pm sunday night (tomorrow), so I can ship your package out on monday. Yes, I really can make a wallet that quickly, and the yarn is ready to ship. ;) If you e-mail me back in time, that is. So don't forget to leave your e-mail address or blog address. I love to read your blogs! 


  1. I LOOOOOVE the idea of a black and white garden!! OMG! I'm up there next thursday for a conference, I may have to go find black flowers. Because that would be just *AWESOME* in all the ways I can think of.

    The shrinking violet mimosa makes me think of Flower, the baby skunk from Bambi. You know, this scene:

    "He can call me a flower, if he wants to." Now, granted, it's kinda silly to name a plant "Flower", but it was totally what popped to mind.

  2. Is this *my* Erin? The amazing Erin that I had the incredibly Literary Orange experience with? Depending what time you're up here on thursday, I would love to meet up with you! Or, if you like, I can swing by there tomorrow and pick up whichever flowers you'd like.

    Actually, I love the name "Flower" for the plant. Kind of ironic, with more meaning. You know? Thank you for the suggestion!

  3. Gosh, my thoughts run to shy sounding names - Harold, Milton, Agatha. They sound shy to me! Good luck finding one! (and fun blog! I just found it!)

  4. It is a boy or a girl :P

    Not really sure why but Benni came to mind :D

    I have never seen it before and i love it!! Love the idea of a black and white garden too :P

  5. Great names, you guys! Sorry I never wrote a follow-up, but at the time it seemed to go over like a lead balloon. I thought about it and thought about it, then remembered a favorite story from when I was a kid. Did you ever read Ferdinand the Bull? He was big and strong, but he didn't want to fight, he just wanted to sit and smell the flowers all day. I couldn't get the name out of my head, so Ferdinand it is. :) I'm so glad you guys stopped by and commented, you totally made my day.


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