I still can’t get over the fact that tillandsia grows in the shade trees of Austin, Texas. It is only March of 2008 and I have already learned more about tillandsia from observing it growing wild on these last few trips then I knew previously through years of experience growing them in my home. Proof-positive that I need to take more trips. For the learning!
Incidentally the tillandsia I saw in Austin is Tillandsia recurvata which is commonly called “ball moss” by locals.
This turn-of-the-century seed catalogue, John A. Bruce & Co.’s Illustrated and Descriptive Catalogue of Seeds, 1884, was perfect reading this morning as I prepared to make my final seed choices and orders for the 2008 growing season. The gorgeous illustrated book (do not miss the cover on page 6), reproduced in full and made available online as a part of the Ontario Time Machine project is fascinating to explore including vegetable varieties many of us still enjoy today (they sold my favourite dwarf pea ‘Tom Thumb’!). Reading through the book sent me off on some wild but fruitless chases for interesting varieties like ‘Alpha’ a blue wrinkled pea, and ‘Black Portugal Musk Rock’* (page 13) a fascinating, bumpy-skinned cantaloupe.
As you turn through the pages be sure to click on descriptive photos, text definitions and audio files that provide further insight and historical context.
I’ve got to include an additional shout-out here to my spouse Davin who designed the Ontario Time Machine website.
*Cantaloupes or musk melons were called “rock melons” around the turn-of-the-century due to their hard, rock-like rinds.
I visit this wetland on a regular basis throughout the year. It is my happy place. There is just something about the serenity of this place as the tall grasses and reeds sway in the wind that calms me and lifts my spirit even in the middle of winter when I am standing knee deep in snow, freezing. And no matter how many times I visit this spot I always see something in it that I hadn’t noticed before and find a new way to capture it on film.
Common reed (Phragmites australis) at the same location.
Considering the particularly harsh nature of winter in the north this year, the need to celebrate the solstice/equinox/vernal equinox/whatever they’re calling it these days is stronger than ever. Spring can not arrive fast enough. Do you think blowing on the snow will make it melt faster?
From here on out I will be selecting “Spring” rather than “Winter” when categorizing my posts. I bought some cut daffodils in a moment of desperation the other day and they are starting to pop, emitting a delicate floral scent from their spot on a shelf behind my desk. The sun is shining so I plan to take some time this afternoon to visit my weekly farmer’s market (they should have some good local greens) and later plant a few more seeds. Maybe later I will run through the streets naked in wild abandon. Maybe.
How are you planning to celebrate the coming of Spring?
Don’t forget to enter the Haiku Contest! Only a few days left!
It was so thrilling to find this flying dragon, a very unusual looking deciduous citrus tree, blooming in Austin last week.