Monday, July 12, 2010

Cactus Surprise

I was walking through the lumpy, bumpy part our yard today, a little left of the abandoned well, in a part of the yard I rarely visit. There, among a tangle of geraniums and ivy, was a paddle cactus sporting an apricot-colored flower.

I don't remember putting this in the ground - it may have been here before us. I have no idea what it is. It is broad and paddle shaped, deep green, with small tufts of white needles, making it look a bit like dotted swiss. The flower turns into a red fruit, though most of these had already been consumed.

I'm looking forward to cleaning out this area so I can see the cactus better.

I trimmed the lavender today and cut a bunch for wands, or shall I say wand-shaped bunches as I don't have a goddessy bone in my body. It was a nice task for an unusually cool July morning.

My first attempts to make these failed as the stems would snap when I bent them. So what I did was cut all the blooming flowers off my lavender. Then I sorted them into four categories: dewy fresh new blooms, half-bloomed but not seeded, partly seeded but still in bloom; and too far gone. I started with the dewy fresh new blooms and realized the stems on these were soft enough to bend. With the second batch two out of 18 stems snapped, and the third I left as a bouquet and did not bend the stems.

Sometimes just figuring something out on your works better than searching youtube for a tutorial.

My lavender from the guy in the white van at the Hollywood Farmer's Market. All his plants: vegetables, herbs and flowers, are in 4" x 4" pots and cost a dollar each. They have never failed me. I have to remember to ask him what kind of lavender this is next time I see him.

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