Sunday, May 5, 2019


This is how I spent yesterday morning -- planting more seedlings. I put four honesty plants in this big clay pot and coated the top with a layer of gravel, hoping that will deter digging squirrels. We'll see.

The pot itself I found in a dumpster last week. It's painted white and has a French phrase written on the side:

Garden of lavender
aromatic flowers
garnishing the summer air

I wouldn't buy it new, but hey, it was free! And we always need more pots.

This is a burdock plant, which I put in the ground in our garden, surrounded by a copper "slug ring" and more gravel -- hopefully fending off squirrels, snails AND slugs.

Again, we'll see.

And here are some hollyhocks, in a pot with some stones to deter digging.

Every planting is a fortification!

And then there's this tall plant stand, also scavenged from someone's streetside trash during a recent dog walk. I put a couple of seedlings in small pots atop it, hoping it would make the plants remote enough that squirrels won't bother them. (Squirrels are basically opportunists, interfering with what's closest at hand.) So far, so good. But I guess things could backfire if a squirrel gets up there and knocks the pots off!

Overall, I planted 16 seedlings yesterday, in both pots and in the ground. And I still have these:

Jesus God! How did I wind up with so many plants?! And only a fraction of my seedlings sprouted!

Yesterday afternoon Dave and I went to see the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's Film Music Gala at Royal Albert Hall. It's exactly what it sounds like -- a performance of movie music. There were old favorites including "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Star Trek" and even the very '70s theme from "Rocky," which really called for a spinning disco ball descending from the ceiling, but I guess you can't have everything. There were also some slightly less well-known pieces from the likes of "Dances With Wolves" and "Edward Scissorhands." Most of it was from the 90s and 2000s -- the oldest was "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" from 1966. We had a great time! I'm not sure when I've so enjoyed a musical performance. It reminded me of watching Arthur Fiedler conduct the Boston Pops on PBS when I was a kid. We intend to get tickets for next year's gala, too!

One funny moment -- some boys were slipping past us to get to their seats in our row when one pointed at me and said, "You work in the library!" I had no idea who he was, but clearly he goes to our school. I felt like a celebrity, being recognized in public!

Last night, inspired by the gala, we watched "Edward Scissorhands" again. It was filmed about five miles from where I grew up, north of Tampa, and I remember visiting the neighborhood afterwards to see all the brightly painted, rainbow-colored houses. I also used to shop at Southgate Plaza, in Lakeland, which features prominently in the movie -- I specifically remember getting a pair of sunglasses repaired there, near where Joyce puts the moves on Edward in the beauty salon. Does that make me two degrees removed from Johnny Depp?


  1. CYRIL SLUG: Hey guys! The salad buffet has arrived!
    SALLY SNAIL: Whoa! Let's get munching. I adore burdock! Simply adore it!

  2. I would have enjoyed those tunes. I always hated being recognized in public, especially by my mothers' students as in, "Hey
    you are the witch kid." I'd smile and say, "yeah, I'm a witch in training."

    Good luck with all of your sprouts...

  3. WHAT?! That's where Edward Scissorhands was shot? I had no idea.
    I, too, have shopped at the Lakeland Southgate Plaza. I must rewatch that movie. And I don't know about Johnny Depp but you and I were fated to meet without a doubt.

  4. I like to hear orchestras play show tunes.

  5. You've done a lot of work to keep those little critters at bay. I hope it works.
    That gala concert sounds wonderful. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it too.

  6. I like your efforts to fend off the critters. I finally gave in the other day and took on the task of rescuing our dahlias from the slugs. They have eaten EVERY leaf right off the small struggling starts. Sounds like a grand concert!

  7. I love hearing an orchestra in person, unlike other concerts which I avoid like the plague! Sounds like that was a great one.

    I'd have given up on those plants by now and conceded to the squirrels and other wildlife! The deer are the problem we have to contend with, but I've gotten deer-resistant plants for the last few years and it seems to help, except with our poor old rhododendrons, which I won't give up. And they don't give up either. Few blooms, but the plants themselves survive each year.

    You should offer autographs to your fans for a price! A nice new side hustle :)

  8. I always find movie music very stirring. Good luck with the pots, the slate looks like the best deterrent to me.
    I wish I lived in your area it is so good for finds. lol

  9. Do you know ... I have never seen hollyhocks planted in pots!
    They are ubiquitous here, being one of the relatively few perennials that can survive Saskatchewan winters. Almost every farmyard has an abundance of them alongside the farmhouse. But the hollyhocks have to be planted in the ground in order to live to bloom again (and again, and again, and again); above ground, their roots would freeze solid. -Kate

  10. YP: Yeah, you've pretty much captured the situation.

    E: The "witch kid"?!

    Ms Moon: YES!!!! You have to watch it if you haven't already. Everything but the scenes inside the castle was shot right in our neck of the woods in Florida!

    Red: Show tunes and movie music is great because it's usually quite melodic and easy to listen to, as opposed to some classical.

    Sharon: I feel like every day in the garden is like fending off an invading army!

    Robin: Well I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with these problems! Our dahlias are up on that plant stand to keep them out of the reach of critters. (Hopefully.)

    Jenny-O: I'm not ready to give up entirely but I have to be realistic that I'm going to lose some.

    Briony: We do seem to live in an area good for useful trash!

    Blondi: Well, they're only in pots for now. Eventually, when they're bigger and stronger, I'll put them in the ground. That's my plan anyway. I think hollyhocks get too top-heavy to stay in a pot (in addition to the root-freezing problem!).

  11. trying to catch up. I finally got all my accumulated small plants in the ground yesterday after clearing out the done pansies and some of the gone by poppies.