Thursday, May 24, 2007

Still falling down, but not the Ivy.... it's me. Vertigo. Last week, still not completely over the viral infection I've had, I flew to a conference in San Jose, California. Big mistake, as the combination of the pressurized cabin and the recent virus messed with my inner ear. This week I found myself light-headed and staggering to catch my balance. The easiest thing to do was lie down. Meanwhile, my bedding plants are lined up on the back porch, begging to be put in their pots, and I've "vanished" from cyberspace without a word of warning. My humble apologies to all, and as I regain my equilibrium just in time for a long Memorial Day weekend, perhaps I finally get to finish planting!

The fountains above are in front of the convention center in San Jose, a charming big-bucks Silicon Valley town that has sunk a lot of money into civic beautification. It was a pleasure to walk around and take it all in, and the downtown area had loads of lovely restaurants in which to spend my per diem.
My fellow co-workers and I had a great meal in this Italian restaurant but what really caught my eye was this smoke tree that I spotted in the back courtyard when I went out to sneak a cigarette in the parking lot.
I've seen one or two of these at home but this one really did look "smoky." Actually that is a puff of grey smoke in the top right corner. Never try to smoke and take pictures at the same time, though the theme was right.
Back at home, I found the Ernest Markham clematis blooming away near the front porch. Ernest isn't fond of growing up the chicken wire on the post and prefers to sprawl in the foliage below. I really need to get out there and tidy him up.
But all of these guys below are waiting to be put into pots on the terrace, so first things first. Last weekend, after I'd gotten home from San Jose and before I started falling down, I had a glorious two days to garden. But since I'm so far behind it was spent mostly on weeding, mowing, and exhaustion later.
While we've had abundant rain, the temps fell too. For the past two nights I've moved my fuschia basket into the garage to keep it safe from the high 30's it's fallen to overnight. But after this weekend I'm no longer pampering anything, after all, it's high time for warm nights.


Pam/Digging said...

Wow, what a big, beautiful smoke tree!

Carol said...

So that's where you've been. That is a great looking smoke tree (minus the real smoke). Send that rain my way, will ya?!

Zoey said...

so nice to have you back LR. I am glad you are feeling better.

That is a big smoke tree! I planted two of them two years ago and mine are just tiny. I wonder if they will ever get that size? So far they have never even bloomed. I wonder how old that one is?

What are the orange flowers?

LostRoses said...

Pam, I was wowed, as you can tell. It really was a big tree!

Carol, I thought the real smoke was appropos, if nothing else! I'm trying to send some rain your way, so far it's only made it as far as my daughter's in Tulsa.

Zoey, good news! While researching smoke trees I read that they only bloom on wood that is 3 years old. Only one year to go!

The orange flowers in the back are no-name zinnias from the grocery store, the ones closer to the front are African Daisy (osteospermum) "Orange Symphony".

Annie in Austin said...

LostRoses, I'm sorry about the vertigo, but very glad to know you don't have pneumonia or something like that.
Do you think the smoke tree was deliberately planted in the courtyard a kind of pun? Whatever the reason, it looks wonderful there.

I hope you improve enough to have a great Memorial Day weekend.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mary said...

Lost Roses, I was wondering where you've been but also thinking your trip must have been extended. I'm glad you're back. Sorry about the vertigo - it can be dangerous!

Hopefully you'll regain your strength over this long weekend and get that garden in order :o)

Smoke tree - very interesting!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

That smoke tree was really err smoking! What a beautiful tree it is!

Sorry to hear about your vertigo, can be a bit scary too!

I see you've put your birdhouses on display, very nice. Still lots of planting to do, but that is always fun I think.

The importance of being Ernest is demonstrated very beautifully here. :-)

LostRoses said...

Thanks, Annie, except for the vertigo I'm feeling pretty good! Wonder if I can garden lying down? As for the smoke tree and a possible pun, I'd like to think that someone had a great sense of irony and did just that, but doubtful!

Mary, I think you're the only one I mentioned to that I was going to be out of town. I should have written an "I'll be away" post, but didn't get to it, as usual! Thanks for the welcome back.

Yolanda, you're so funny! And yes, I did get my birdhouses up on the shelf, still thinking of playing around with the placement and adding a vine or two.

KGMom said...

Lost Roses--I am returning the visit. I love the smoke tree photo--my neighbor across the street has one that is not too tall yet. But it produces lovely smoky blossoms. When it is full grown, it will be spectacular.

LostRoses said...

kgmom, the thing about the smoke tree is I feel like I need to refocus my eyes to look at it - those frothy flowerheads look blurry to me! Thanks for visiting.

Lynne said...

I'm glad you're back to blogging- you were missed! Sorry about the vertigo. That sure can be miserable. I'm looking foreward to pictures of your planted flowers. :)

LostRoses said...

Thanks Lynne, I staggered around the back porch today planting most of the pots. I'm feeling more steady this evening. I hope when I look at the pots tomorrow I don't find that I planted them all crooked!

Mary said...

I love your new look! When did you change?

LostRoses said...

Mary, Thanks, I actually did it last night- I finally got up the courage to try. I'm still fooling around with the colors and fonts but it's a start!

Salix Tree said...

What a lovely tree, that smoke tree! Great color!
Email me your address soon, I'd like to send the columbine seeds as soon as they set. I found that is the best time to sow them. All my columbine seed sowing had failed until I got fresh ones strait off the plant.