Plants 365, week 44

Full on in Fall… welcome to week 44.

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.

Thursday, November 5th, 2015 – HMB

There are so many butterflies all over the foliage of the weeping Cypress trees at the shop. I wonder if they are on them because they are safe there, or the tree’s scent, texture…?

It reminds me of when Matt and I visit the butterfly farms in Belize. The wings flutter by in a thick, undulating, slow wave – with seemingly no fear of humans at all. They get stuck in your hair, your clothes and cling to you, until the decide to float away. It’s pretty heavenly.

Friday, November 6th, 2015 – HMB

This year is going to be so hard not to prune back gardens in December or early January like I’m used to. With anticipated heat and drought again in the summer, I don’t want the plants to be stressed going through winter, so I’m leaving them for a while. But it’s been super cold at night and in the morning… like, really cold. And fast. There were warm nights only a couple weeks ago. 

Saturday, November 7th, 2015 – HMB, San Francisco

Absinthe is a fascinating, albeit gross drink.

Sunday, November 8th, 2015 – HMB

Matt finally fixed the sagging back porch. We are constantly vacillating between the intersection of “fuck this place we don’t own it” and “it would be so great to…”. A fixed porch and some potted plants go far, but I’m going to be happy to set roots somewhere that we own.

In other news, the BB roses in the front are giant – but they have stopped blooming. There are a few buds on some leggy stems, but nothing substantial. I feel like I have such a relationship with them in winter (when I cut them down and compost – my most beloved of activities for the entire year), spring (when they are budding out and growing at an enormous rate),  and in summer (cut flowers). But fall is an in between time for the two of us…

I look forward to meeting them again with my Felco’s and a bottle of champagne. But this year, I’m shooting to hold off until late January.

Monday, November 9th, 2015 – HMB

It’s officially the crush of the holiday season and I am feeling it – and not like, a rap song “feelin’ it”. Like, feeling it in a I can’t fucking sleep kind of way. 

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015 – HMB

I just got an email from David Austin wholesale regarding January orders. There will be one year where it will make sense for me to order the $1k of roses to hit the minimum, but this isn’t the year.

To buy bulk roses like these, I need to find a job that is a few acres of mostly flat land, great soil (maybe there was an old chicken farm on the property, so the soil is amazing after years of chicken shit decomposing. Maybe the old owner was murdered on the property and her ghost reaches out to me to solve the crime. Maybe I do solve the crime – and it turns out it was the new owner, the one who hired me! Maybe she goes to jail and the property is left to me by the original ghost owner… somehow! Then and only then, I can buy my 1k worth of wholesale DA roses.) and ample water. 

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015 – HMB

I harvested more Saffron today! Yeah! This is so awesome… I need to plant another 1k bulks in the spring. (Mostly, because I harvest and they don’t even have time to dry before I eat them)

Plants 365

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