Friday, June 26, 2009

Baking & Gardening . . . What More Does One Need?

Call this installment No. 2 of my desire to share a few new photos of flowers and plants, from my backyard, with you. It won't take long. Bear with me. Gotta get this out of my system before I can do another baking post.

Just to reiterate: People who love to bake and/or cook seem to really like gardening, or just really like plants--have you ever noticed this? Anyway, my completely informal and non-intrusive survey indicates it must be true. Yes, that's the non-scientific and highly subjective conclusion I've come to over the years.

(If you'll indulge me while I go off on a bit of a tangent for a moment: Even my recent culinary arts teacher, whom everyone reverently refers to as "Chef Sue," revealed to the class yesterday that she's a master gardener, in addition to her many other talents. She told us that when neighbors, who of course know that she's a professional chef and a culinary instructor, bring her gifts of gigantic overgrown zucchinis, as neighbors have a tendency to do, she just smiles sweetly, thanks them profusely, and has to squelch the urge to immediately throw the giant zukes away right after they leave. She knows an old, seedy, freakish-sized vegetable when she sees one. And being a chef, well, she won't touch a ten-foot zucchini with a ten-foot pole. Now, I'm not currently growing any veggies in my own yard--too little sunshine, too much compacted clay soil-- so that little story may seem barely germane, I know . . . but when she told us, she actually mimed chucking the offending zucchinis over her shoulder and it was a rather funny moment, as she's a rather sober and somewhat elderly teacher. Maybe people just can't resist sharing their wacky gardening-related stories.)

Now then, returning to our backyard . . . let's start with sweet peas . . .

I just love their odd irregular shape and curling tendrils. There's something appealing to me about the way they grow . . . recklessly, and in wonderful tangles.

Below is a tightly closed morning glory bud. My mom-in-law, Nancy, gave me some little plants just a couple of weeks ago. She can grow anything.

The pink roses, below, grow on a scrappy little bush behind our garage. They're pretty neglected, but that doesn't seem to stop them.

I should go outside right now to see if the lily, below, bloomed today. It looked full to bursting last night after the rain, didn't it?
In the photo below is wild ginger (no relation to the stuff that's edible, far as I can tell) that grows in a very shady area in the back of our yard. My mom-in-law, who I mentioned above and who I am proud to say is also a master gardener (what a cool thing to be), gave me a few little cuttings perhaps ten years ago and they've developed into a couple of beautiful clumps. The leaves, which are the attractive part of the plant, reflect the light in a unique way; they have a shiny velvety quality that's evident especially when they're dry. And they're such a clear green. There's something restorative in just looking at them.

Okay, that's all. Thanks for being patient.

Maybe I'll go bake something now . . .

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