June 18th

The word for yesterday was “minute.” I’m not sure if that is supposed to be the small segment of an hour, or a descriptor of a very small thing. Words out of context, as we well know, are open for wild interpretation.

Doesn’t matter much because yesterday I spent the afternoon working in plants instead of paints.

Several minutes were spent working on two minute gardens when considering the whole of the planet.

Forgot to get a “before” picture, but this will do. Taken from the public sidewalk side of the garden.

When I moved into my home, the gardens were all up next to the house. The front yard consisted of two large slabs of lawn with a tree on the north side. Not terrible, but not particularly wonderful either. I prefer not to use chemicals on my lawn—my pets eat grass, and I’m partial to dandelion greens, plantain, and purslane.

This little band of a garden went from holding 4 varieties of grass and weeds to 8 varieties of plants. I’m quite sure some of the weeds (and probably grass) I pulled out will return as well. I have no real objection as long as they play nicely with the others. This small patch could potentially hold 12 varieties of plants—biodiversity. Some will flourish and some will perish.

The squirrels will look at my work, and collaboratively edit my choices. When the weather is dry, birds will take dust baths next to the post edge.

When the plants have filled out, the possum in the neighborhood will have a new lookout. The bunny living under my neighbor’s porch will have new snacks and shelter.

In the fall, the leaves that fall there will be held by the plants, protecting the roots from the bitter cold of winter and feeding the soil for the next year’s growth.

In the spring, the emergence of the new growth will bring delight.

In the summer I’ll bury my toes in the warm earth and know my home. I’ll look into the garden and enjoy the accomplishment of establishing a space that nurtures.

Lysimachia

Calibrachoa

Spike plant

Red daylilly

Rose of sharon – will come to dominate this bed but provide summer blooms in the front yard where I have a preponderance of spring and fall-blooming plants. The other plants growing it it’s shadow will be moved to other beds, sold in the FSGC plant sale, or given to friends.

Yellow spurge

White lace plant

Sun drops

How did the pot become a birdbath?

The pot was covering a sewer clean out, and when I leaned on it to plant the calibrachoa and spike plant, the base disintegrated. I tried to pick up the pot by its rim to move it out of the way and the rim came off in my hands. I’m afraid it is well on its way to becoming micro plastics—anyone collecting those yet? Apparently, there’s a lot of raw material to work with.

Anyhoo, the previous owners of the home left the birdbath behind. It used to live up near the house, but I moved it when I planted that garden bed. It has spent several years under the oak in the hosta garden.

Now it has an opportunity to shine. However, it has a mortal crack in the bowl which prevents it from performing its primary function. I patched it once, and I’ll try again. Or maybe I’ll put a plant tray in the bottom of it to hold some water and pile it with stones for a butterfly/bee watering station. Project for another day.

Happy Father’s Day and fatherly day to all the gentlemen out there!

Posts with Illustrations from 2005

Speak Up’s Word It for November

…is “quick”.

The Great Wardrobe Shift

It’s fall and time for that fun game we all get to engage in twice a year—The Wardrobe Shift. This is the game in which you attempt to remember exactly what you own that will see you through the next season. At about the time I finally have the summer clothes all figured out and on a nice rotation, the temperatures start dropping, and I know it’s time to begin THE SHIFT.

As if it weren’t bad enough that we have to go from one complete wardrobe to another for the cooler temperatures, we also have to make the incremental adjustments along the way. There’s no time to really settle into the spring and fall clothes (as if there are actually “spring” and “fall” clothes). They are the outfits that are strange blends of summer and winter items brought together for a short period of time—just to see us through until the weather is fully committed.

The clothes, themselves, rarely enjoy this in-between-season time. The sweater really prefers the heavier pants to the lighter summer pair you are currently wearing because you think it’s “not quite cold enough yet”. So the sweater and the pants nag you all day long that they just don’t belong together. Every time you look in the mirror, you wonder why you forgot to turn on the lights before you looked at your murky reflection. Maybe just one more cup of coffee before you left the house would have snapped you out of your wardrobe malfunction. Maybe there should be a Garanimalesque system for adult clothing, you think to yourself. And you could corner the market if only you had the time.

There’s one solace in the dark season of clothing confusion—you’re strangely comfy.

KPK’s Monster

November 10th

Scarier?

Illo Friday “Imagine” and SpeakUp! “Star”

I did a combo illustration—lazy or creative? You make the call.

I’d initially done this for Illo Friday “surprise”, but it was too late. I think it applies well to “imagine”, as in “Imagine poor Harvey’s impending mysery at the hands of his closest friends.”


Flash forward to 2022: Harvey’s closest friends were immortalized in The Word It Book published in 2007, edited by Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armit Vit. You’ll find the trio on page 169.

2022 Note continues: None of us ever imagined Harvey’s pals would hang out on a page with Marilyn Monroe for eternity. I think the editors had a little fun with this page arrangement.

Illo Friday “Holiday”

This is a colored pencil drawing that adorned my Christmas letter this year. Merry Christmas everyone!

And a Happy New Year too!


This post is a consolidation of several posts from 2005—with a little new information tossed in for good measure.

Morning Light

My rose garden is blooming more than it ever has. This morning I filled a vase with roses, and my rose garden is still flush with buds and blooms.

I set this on the table on the front porch…where I enjoy the morning light with a cup of coffee and the pets and singing birds. Quiet time. Time to set aside concerns and just exist.