Oh beautiful succulents. You don’t seem to like winter in Washington, and at this point, I’m not too sure about it either. Gray, gray, and more gray. So I’m living in a Texas fantasy today and hoping your green will seep through my screen and into my body chemistry because no matter how many mushrooms I eat (someone said they are a good vitamin D supplement, and no not the medicinal kind), I still have the winter blues.
I’ve been really into filling the office with lots and lots of plants, perhaps it has something to do with everything outside being dead and gray (did I mention gray?). But I’m always on the lookout for sweet planters and pots to house new greenery, and what gets more charming than a little face and a baby succulent? Love these guys from the sweet Etsy shop Atelier Stella London (plus, anything called Atelier makes me feel fancy).
Reminiscing about a warm day spent visiting a succulent farm in west Austin last summer with my dear friend Christine. Lots of symmetry, lots of Texas cacti, appropriately. It was kind of magical. Hoping a little magic finds its way to you during these winter days.
Confession: I was totally that girl who collected magazines and holed herself in her room making collages during high school. I have books and books filled with good things I cut and tore up then glued onto unassuming pages. Doesn’t everyone?
I just recovered these photos from a collage workshop I was privileged to attend last year at the beautifully curated shop just behind our old LA home in Highland Park, Platform. It was hosted by the talented artist Caris Reid, (her work is so refreshing, I particularly like “Bride” from her website). The night was a wonderful excuse to drink wine and cut some things up with a group of ladies. Throwback to my early years – minus the whole wine and group thing.
Here’s to all those collage-ers out there!
It has been a feast for the eyes at the Farmers Market, downtown, around town, and even my own backyard this fall harvest season in Santa Fe. I am absolutely loving the colors, smells, flowers, and food—not to mention, a great place to sit outside on our deck and watch clouds over the mountains with a coffee in the morning, or by sunset at night.
Choosing drought-hardy flowers this summer, I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about some of the varieties that will thrive here in the high desert environment. I am so happy with the first-year’s growth my newest plants have established so far: butterfly bushes, roses, Russian sage, salvia, yarrow, moss roses, Mexican heather, and poppies.
As for a vegetable patch, I have had some success with raised beds and drip irrigation this year. This is the second summer that we have tried growing tomatoes, Swiss chard, salad greens, herbs, squash, melons, peppers, and herbs, in the desert. It was a quick learning curve to see the mint (a.k.a. strangler vine) trying to choke out everything else in its bed.
I also planted a June bearing and a day neutral strawberry vine this fall, and am very excited to see how they do next year; this year, we got one berry. But, I am still proud of that one perfect red berry.
Back to figuring out more ways to eat copious amounts of Swiss rainbow chard, which has proven to be the happiest, strongest, most resilient, and dauntless member of our growing plant family by far!
A few words about fall colors, as October starts and the skies begin to deepen their blue, nights get chillier and crystal clear, the first frost has decorated the grass, and we pick by day (and cover at night) the last of our roses, tomatoes, and butternut squash here in New Mexico. I have been walking and sitting outside almost every afternoon and every evening in that wonderful, golden five o’clock autumn light—catching those last few rays of summer-ish sun. This is the road to my house, beautifully filled on either side with wild Mexican sunflowers after a glorious rainy season this year. They are always one of my favorite things to see on the way home, and I will certainly miss them when November comes.
“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.”
-Edwin Way Teale
“A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air.”
“On such a day each road is planned
To lead to some enchanted land;
Each turning meets expectancy.
The signs I read on every hand.
I know by autumn’s wizardry
On such a day the world can be
Only a great glad dream for me.”
-Eleanor Myers Jewett
I love reading the seasonal poems collected “for gardeners and walkers” here: www.egreenway.com.
Enjoy…here’s to frosty nights by the fireside!