Sunday, August 5, 2007


What a pretty word that is, no? Hot is too short a word to describe the dense and all-consuming heat of August in Texas. Now comes that lull in a Texas gardener's year; when really there is nothing to do in the garden but avoid heat stroke and look forward to September.

Meantime I am enjoying a patch of zinnias, which have grown so tall they can be seen from any vantage point in the living room. They attract butterflies and are somewhat like having an aquarium.

I've been doing indoor gardening, digging into:
Vita Sackville-West's Some Flowers
Gertrude Jeckyll's Wood and Garden
The Garden of Reading
The last two I bought at Half Price Books; the Jeckyll book is very old and doesn't appear to be on Amazon. The Garden of Reading is an anthology of stories and excerpts from all kinds of writers about gardens. Some Flowers I checked out of the library and is noteworthy as much for VSW's writing as it is for Graham Rust's illustrations. I snagged another book at HPB, The Painted House by Rust, a British muralist and master of decorative trompe l'oeil, whose skill at draftsmanship and technique is wondrous to see. Here's an iris of his.

A note about my gardening mentor, my mother. I have an old terracotta statue from my mother's garden. This little muñequita wore many different hats during her time in San Antonio. Some years my mother would put iceplant in a pot that trailed over her and tickle her pointed bosoms; or a lush basket of impatiens that made her look like she was going to a fiesta. This year I put some lavender on her head; I kind of expected it to die (my expectations are always low). But the lavender is going strong. I think my mother would like this wild headdress.

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