Slowing down to the end of the year… weeks 50 + 51 and a tad into 52!
New to this page or missed some of Plants 365 and want to catch up? I recommend starting from the beginning with week 1.
Hi! I’m Jenn – botanist, CEO, potty mouth.
This is my “plant diary”, where every day for the entire year I will log my experience with plants. I’m not sure what that’s actually going to look like, but it doesn’t really matter – I just want to talk plants.
But first, here’s a little context about me: I fucking love Champagne. I don’t really like reading fiction but can digest it in the podcast form. I listen, read and observe a lot. I happily overeat carbs. I call myself a botanist because I have been a professional (as in, I pay my bills by) horticulturist for the past 15 years. The past 4+ years I have been researching plants with indigenous Mayan and Garifuna cultures in Belize – mostly focusing on organically farmed Cacao theobroma and jungle-grown Yam root. This means lots of time spent working on family farms, lots of jungle hikes, lots of eating weird things and even a bot fly in the arm (I dare you to google bot fly). Vanilla planifolia and Crocus sativus are my jam right now. My hands-on background is florals, farming, herbalism, horticulture and jungle growth. I’ve dabbled in greenhouse growing (3 years in community college, greenhouse management degree), grafting and stone work. I’d like to practice bonsai more. I’m terrible at grammar. I love holistic approaches, but loathe buzzwords and “internet experts”. I could spend less money on crystals. I should do more yoga. I am meditating more. I get angry at Terry Gross, but then fall back in love each week. Reality TV shows are a must. Woodford on the rocks with a twist and a cherry. Hip hop keeps me human. Kale is king.
Why write this? Because I want to remember and reflect on the time I spend with plants.
Ok. Here we go.
Friday, December 11th, 2015 – HMB
Saturday, December 12th, 2015 – HMB
Sunday, December 13th, 2015 – HMB
Monday, December 14th, 2015 – HMB
Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 – HMB
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 – HMB
Thursday, December 17th, 2015 – HMB
Friday, December 18th, 2015 – HMB
Saturday, December 19th, 2015 – HMB
Sunday, December 20th, 2015 – HMB
Monday, December 21st, 2015 – HMB
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 – HMB
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 – HMB
So, here’s the deal.
All year I have been jotting down notes of my day relating to plants and my work. Post-it’s, emails, letters written on napkins accumulate in my bags and on my desk. They read things like, “wtf salvia” or “when you feel that way with potting soil” or “lemon tree flowers!!!!!”
But the past couple months (and especially weeks) I have been backed up. So, I’m changing the format and writing one, long post about how December has been. Overall, it’s been a nice month. I’ve gone slower, slept in, dressed warm and made time to plug the Christmas tree in even if I’m only in the room for 10 minutes.
I’ve found that remaining in the season we are in, is more difficult than it seems. With business, and especially in horticulture, you are always thinking ahead. And that constant thinking ahead leaves me away from the present moment and rarely satisfied with what I’m doing. It never gives you a chance to count your accomplishments and rest. So, for the sake of slowing down my “on to the next” mentality, I’m slowing down for winter.
The blue pine in the living room serves as our tiny but mighty Christmas tree. It doesn’t hold the ornaments very well, due to the downward sloping needles, but the blue color is gorgeous and it has a nice, light scent.
This fall is probably the first time ever I have been out of my front garden for so long. It hasn’t been neglected, but I haven’t participated much other then pulling the occasional weed – barely even that. I miss sitting on the warm soil and zoning out to a podcast. I miss watching the annuals like Borage or Cerinthe grow quickly, then ripping them out as they go to seed. Constant tending, then tilling.
The other day I went to Rob’s greenhouse to help him re-home some of his gorgeous plant collection. Plants like Bamboo, Palm, Miscanthus, Ginger and so on… they are now living as a tropical hedge on the side of my house. I would have never chosen them together as a privacy hedge – but they are working out really well! A week or so later I went back and helped Rob trim some pitcher plants… tables and tables, man, he has a lot! I snagged a handful to use in a wreath, woven along with cypress dried oranges and gold cord.
The tangle of Clematis, ‘Sally Holmes’ Rose and Jasmine are fully smothering the arbor that leads to the chicken coop. I’m having a hard time sticking to my rule of not pruning anything back until February. #OCD
OK – the Brugsmansia is lanky and looks like shit. I need to do just a little pruning on this one…
I threw the ball for Patootie the other evening and it landed in the rosemary pot. She gingerly jumped into it (without breaking any stems… amazing this little dog) and took a few moments to find the ball. She came back in a cloud of rosemary scent – which I found delightful, but surprising that it was so strong, even in the cold.
Is it bad to leave Carrots in the ground and just eat them as you need? They are still fresh and yummy, but just technically should have been harvest a month ago… ?
All for now.