“I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils”
- William Wordsworth
I’m getting quite an education in narcissus this year. Although, not just in the botanical sense, come to think of it. Har har.
It seems that as I familiarize myself with the various types, sizes, shapes, and colours that are out there, my attentions have been turning more towards the teeny, tiny, diorama-sized daffodils, like this Narcissus juncifolius I came upon the other day growing in the rock garden section of the Montreal Botanical Gardens. These bright little flowers were one of the highlights of my trip and I spent quite a lot of time documenting them with various cameras.
According to “Gardener’s Latin,” the species name juncifolius refers to the leaves, which are thin and cylindrical like the a grassy rush, aka juncus.
I offer you this photo of one of the flowers next to Davin’s thumb so that you can get a better gauge of their scale.
Tiny but eye-catching.
Recently, I’ve started some of my summer flowers from seed and the potential for future colour and perfume laying dormant in those little packages has got me daydreaming once again about all of the inspiring and cheerful cosmos I saw in the Caribbean.
Last August, Davin and I took a short jaunt to Montreal to wind down following the final delivery of the Grow Great Grub layout. While there, we stopped at the Drawn & Quarterly book shop, called Librairie D + Q to pick up some new comics.
Drawn & Quarterly are an independent comic book publisher that have published some of my very favourite comic books and authors including: Lynda Barry, Daniel Clowes, Chris Ware, Julie Doucet, and others. I really, really respect the kind of work they produce. So you can imagine my happy/proud surprise when I found they were selling my first book, You Grow Girl! Oddly enough, comic book stores have been excellent supporters of my books. Must be all that good karma I racked up buying hoards of independent comics through the nineties!
That day, we chatted with Rory the store manager who was nice enough to offer suggestions of good places to eat and printed out a map to boot! By-the-way, Le Pickup was awesome and they make a good cappuccino too. I suspect we will end up there at some point this weekend.
Many months later and I am thrilled to report that Librairie D + Q will be hosting an event for Grow Great Grub this coming Friday at their Bernard Street store. If you are in Montreal, please do come out. We will be replanting the store’s front garden spot followed by a presentation on growing edibles in small spaces. I hope to see you there.
Today’s photo is a mixed botanical of sorts, representing tropical colour explosion at its best. I took this photo on a street corner in the town of Soufriere, St. Lucia. I can spot roses and croton (big colourful hedges) in the background, but what stands out most are the two red clerodendron (aka Clerodendrum) flowers up front.
I first saw clerodendron in Barbados but had no idea what it was. The plant was taller than the house it flanked with massive blooms that managed to stand upright, even in the wind. Very impressive! My friend David says it is a “tough as nails” plant that can be difficult to transplant due to its tap root. But once established it will grow just about anywhere.
I bought this adorable little Primula aricula ‘Pinstripe’ the other day at the Ontario Rock Garden Society sale. It was the one plant purchased there that I didn’t really need, but couldn’t bear to leave behind.
I’m currently keeping it in a little hypertuffa pot I made years back (molded around a plastic drinking cup), until I can find a new spot for it. Ariculas have a very dedicated, if not somewhat obsessive following and I’m probably breaking all sorts rules and generally freaking people out by growing it in this way — and top-dressing with grit no-less. However, it’s my first and I’m thinking of this as a learning experience/experiment.
Overall, I’m very taken with it and will be sad when the blooms have finished.