what, more slides?

More slides. All the photographs were taken using Kodachrome 64, which Cindy preferred because it didn’t create that super-saturated color that was, and maybe still is, so popular. She didn’t approve of the effect. The only reason I know what kind of film was used is that I was asked to pick some up after work on several occasions, because of film emergencies.

There are still undeveloped rolls of film lying around here, with who knows what on them; the cameras may still have film, and there are even some rolls of black-and-white slide film, because I had this idea that doing a slide show in black-and-white might be different, if not edifying. (I can picture the audience slowly sneaking away.) I might have the film developed, and then again, I might not. It takes me forever, relatively speaking, to get around to do things that aren’t of critical importance. Which, to me, means almost everything.

Permit me to illustrate this. Every time I go out, like to the store, I’m drawn into these conversations that revolve around “the game”. As in “Did you catch the game last night?” Or “I’ll be home just in time for the game”. The looks I get when I indicate that my interest in such things is less than zero make me think I really am a stranger in a strange land. I might counter with “I’ll be home just in time to see Viburnum farreri open its first flowers” just to see the reaction. Why should I be interested in something just because everyone else is?

Better yet, I could start a conversation with something like “You know that scene in Kaija Saariaho’s L’Amour de loin, where she invokes proença ….” and then run. I learned a long, long time ago that the things I find fascinating almost never interest anyone else; Cindy was an exception which is one reason we got along so well.

These are mostly slides of plants in the rock garden or in the troughs. That was the main purpose of taking pictures in those days (1990s); I whined endlessly about not having enough slides with which to do slide shows, and my photographer grudgingly took pictures of plants she didn’t think were all that exciting. Sometimes she took to a plant, and when I let it die, I never heard the end of it.

So, I do understand that these plants might not thrill everyone. I did take pains not to include pictures of plants with only one flower. (The titanopsis, with its reptilian leaves, is another story altogether.) My photographer found requests like this to be merely annoying. “It only has one flower. This is stupid.” I tried to explain that there might be four people on the planet who liked to see plants in flower, even if there was only one flower, and that sometimes all you get is one flower, and just maybe those people would be attending one of my slide shows, and come up to me afterwards and say, “Ah, I see you got this to flower”, thereby making the whole thing worthwhile.

Some of the plants pictured do have a certain snob appeal, what might be called the “neener factor”, but I’m far too dignified a person to indulge in such things.


Echinocereus reichenbachii var. albispinus


Aquilegia jonesii


Leucocrinum montanum


Coryphantha minima..or is it compacta? I forget.


Physoplexis comosa


prickly poppy, Argemone sp.


Kniphofia ‘Little Maid’. I didn’t crop the lower right hand side properly.


agave on ice


Kniphofia ‘Nancy’s Red’ ….done in by voles


Eritrichium aretioides


Schizanthus hookeri, or grahamii, from Archibald seed.


Iris histrio ‘George’


Iris reticulata ‘Cantab’


Titanopsis calcarea


Silene petersonii


Pooka, our second border collie, guarding the rock garden with his radar ears


Erysimum ‘Jubilee Gold’


Iris magnifica


Verbascum dumulosum …..met its end by being planted on a corner the dogs thought was interesting.


Centaurea polypodiifolia ….the leaves were like heavy plastic, with a serious spine on the tip. Flowers sweetly scented.

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14 Responses to what, more slides?

  1. What a fabulous lot these are: the picture with Pooka is unbelievable (the garden behind him–wow! Do you have some more overall shots of your spring rock garden?)…not that I don’t appreciate that awesome dog. You have grown so many plants superbly it verges on annoying! Keep ’em coming!

    • paridevita says:

      No, sigh, no pictures of gardens as a whole. I whined and wheeled and cajoled and stuff, but Cindy said that garden pictures weren’t all that interesting, or the feng shui was wrong, or something.
      “Everyone else has garden pictures”.
      “Well, you’re not everyone else, so live with it.” Story of my life. I thought about learning to use a camera, one that used film, so I could take my own pictures, but it was too much trouble.
      Then the digital age arrived, and she discovered she could take pictures of a katydid’s butt, and that was that.

  2. Desert Dweller says:

    This is amazing…keep them slides a coming! My father was a Kodachrome 64 for the same reasons…and sometimes, you have to like analog over digital. And all the mostly small plants, including cacti, are simply stunning…much potential with those in our shrinking garden spaces!

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks. I do have some slides of one-flowered cacti I might show, if I can ignore my sense of shame for killing them down the road. Little endangered pediocacti, etc. I did just send an order to Mesa Garden today, to try to make up for my failure.
      I gather that some photographers still do prefer analog to digital, for the sense of depth.

  3. melanie says:

    I’m about to throw up my hands and give up. I had a nice looking garden until the voles dug it up.

  4. Susan ITPH says:

    Glad to see a pic of the Schizanthus here. Pretty sure it’s grahamii. If it isn’t, then I’ve been wanting to grow something else entirely for a while now. I’ve not tried it yet as more dedicated gardeners than I have told me “Chilean plants don’t do well here.” Nee-ner indeed.

    • paridevita says:

      The alpine Chileans do okay here in the winter, but loathe hot, dry summers. Or they loathe me. I never tried things like the cushion alstroemerias, trumpet vines….though I did get some of the latter to germinate….so I “moved on”, as they say. Strangely, South American cacti seem to be fine here, but maybe because they’re cacti and not herbaceous plants.
      Grahamii it is, then. Nature doesn’t know how to coordinate colors, obviously.

  5. Peter says:

    I’m loving this series of slide scans! I fondly remember Kodachrome 64 (25 occasionally for something special.) There’s a game? As someone who thinks that the Super Bowl was made by Tupperware and is handy for transporting large green salads, I’m with you on the lack of interest in sports. However did you get that exotic looking Pooka to bloom in such well – drained soil?

    • paridevita says:

      Forced to participate in sports when I moved to Colorado. The very first day of school I was introduced to something called “tumbling”, which induced in me a sense of terror that took years to get over. You ran on this mat, stuck your hands out, and flipped over into the air. I never learned to do this, and never had the need to use it in later life. Unlike math and stuff.
      That’s a rare form of radar-eared border collie there. The soil is actually heavy clay; the raised bed has a backbone of cinder blocks, ugly rocks, anything else I could think of, but the soil is gravel and clay. I add more gravel every few years so it’s mostly gravel now.

  6. “Permit me to illustrate this. Every time I go out, like to the store, I’m drawn into these conversations that revolve around “the game”. As in “Did you catch the game last night?” Or “I’ll be home just in time for the game”. The looks I get when I indicate that my interest in such things is less than zero make me think I really am a stranger in a strange land.” I so identify with this especially since my various friends have football stuff all over their Facebook profiles these days.

    • paridevita says:

      It’s almost all people talk about here. And everyone assumes that everyone else is fascinated by it. This is a peculiar phenomenon. Maybe there’s a psychological term for it. I’ve listened to classical music since I was eight, and have met very few people with the same interest, so I always assume that if I like something the chances are next to zero that other people will. I was lucky enough to find someone who liked almost everything I did, and vice versa, though she only liked some pieces of classical music, and so I married her.

  7. Also, Pooka is adorable and that garden is a knockout. (Sports metaphor after all!)

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