Thursday, July 21, 2005

Got My Tots

Morning Glories and Sunflowers
Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
Morning glories and sunflowers. Nice combo, don’t you think? It’s really sort of an accident that these exist at all. Earlier this year, but probably not early enough, I planted some ‘Heavenly Blue’ morning glory seeds and some 'Italian White' sunflower seeds in little peat pots. The germination rate was dismal. Out of 24 pots, I got three sunflower sprouts and zero morning glories. Morning glories and sunflowers are both supposed to be super easy to grow from seed—the kind of thing a kid can grow.

The three sunflower sprouts keeled over and bit the peat without making it past cotyledon stage. I vaguely considered purchasing some starts but then never did it. A few weeks ago, however, I discovered this lone morning glory volunteer in the very place I would have planted my seedlings had they had the fortitude to make something of themselves. I’d had some morning glories in that spot last year that produced a jungle’s worth of leaves but a pittance of flowers. This morning glory is quite different, as you can see. Plus, it’s a totally different color from its parent—no idea why. The ones from last year were the sky blue ‘Heavenly Blue’ variety and this one is a plush deep violet. (I can’t get the true color to photograph accurately. It's much more purple than blue in reality.)

As long as I had that morning glory, I decided to follow through with my original plan and add some sunflowers, especially since I just happened to be at Fred Meyer one day last week and they just happened to have blooming sunflowers attractively priced at 3 for $4.99.

Morning glories are one of those flowers I’ve loved since childhood. Why? I’m not exactly sure, but--if you haven’t noticed—I am a sucker for blue flowers. I also have a weakness for trumpety-looking flowers and a fondness for vines. So there you are.

Speaking of weaknesses--I finally got those tater tots I’ve been jonesing for since Sunday when the tater tot rug was pulled out from under me. You see, yesterday was the annual Cracked Pots Garden Art Show, which is held at Edgefield (repurposed poorhouse, hotel, pub, winery, distillery, and purveyor of tater tots). What a quintessential Oregon event this is. It is open only to local artists who make garden art out of recycled and reclaimed materials. Oregon is probably one of the few places in the United States where enough artists like that could be scraped together to assemble a kick-butt show. And, of course, there was another Oregon essential on tap--beer! You can be sure I availed myself of that option, strolling along at a very leisurely pace, sipping a pint of one of their seasonals, Firefly Kölsch. The artists and their work were tucked here and there among the charmingly decrepit buildings, landscaped lawns, and marvelous gardens of Edgefield. It was just a delightful way to spend an evening. And I bought this!

Rusty Astrolabe

I like to think of it as a sort of rusty astrolabe, although, of course, it’s really more of a rusty antique globe. Astrolabe is a far more melodious word, however, so that is what I’m going to call it from now on. Before it became a rusty astrolabe on a rusty astrolabe stand, it was industrial wire, a gear from some kind of machine, and the strapping that holds wine barrels together. So cool to know its history, I think. I really liked the artist, too. We had a bit of a snarky chat about people who don’t get her art and therefore should not be allowed to buy it. I, of course, did not fall into that category and for my keen ability to understand where she was coming from with all that rust, I earned myself a discount and a hug!

Next planting season I envision putting in some plants that will twine up and entangle themselves in the rusty astrolabe. It definitely needs to become more intimately acquainted with the rest of the garden, but for now it will have to remain a piece of pure garden art.

So, as mentioned above, I got my tots. But not at Edgefield. Too many other folks had the same idea. No problem. There’s more than one place to get tots in Portland--including the Kennedy School, which is within walking distance of our house. I drove back home and ensconced the astrolabe in the garden, leaving it to be admired by B and various neighborhood cats, while I trundled off to demolish an order of tots. That had better hold me for a while, because--let’s face it--those things are little double-fried nuggets of unhealthfulness. So tasty and crunchily satisfying, though.


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