form and texture

Hello everyone; once again it is I, Chess the purebred border collie, here to bring you the latest and greatest news from our garden. You may remember me from such great posts as “Words Of Wisdom” and “The Third Wave”, among so many, many others.

Here I am in a characteristically squinting pose. 14041611The guy I live with said that if I squinted, it would accentuate my “hound dog lips”, but it was kind of bright, looking into the camera. Whatever, huh.

At least the coffee cup was found. The guy I live with said that from now on, he’ll look in the microwave first, no matter what it is that he’s lost.

Now that that’s out of the way, today I’m going to talk about form and texture, because everybody else seems to, when talking about plants and gardening, so I figured why not give it a try myself. Besides, the guy I live with took some pictures of form and texture, so it would make sense to talk about it.

As many people know, my mommy was an artist and was really into things like form and texture. She would spend hours at the art supply store looking at paper. The guy I live with had a great deal of patience, obviously, because watching someone look at paper, especially handmade paper that has both form and texture, is rather boring. There was also this book, or books, since it comes in two volumes, called On Growth and Form, by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, which my mommy said she always wanted, way back when she and the guy I live with were first together, and one day she asked the guy I live with if he thought the books were too much money, and of course he said no, and so she ordered them, and they came, and she was very disappointed. The books weren’t about what she thought they were, and she felt really sheepish about spending so much money on books it turned out she didn’t want, but the guy I live with just dismissed that, since he did that all the time, and still does, but not so much. 14041613Oh well, huh. The books sit on the shelf alongside other books with similarly-colored bindings, so there is some color coordination at least.

The guy I live with always thinks of this little episode when he thinks of form and texture, even though they aren’t quite the same. He thinks about a lot of things that aren’t quite the same, but that’s the way he is.

Some plants came in the mail today, from Miles’ To Go, and a few of these have quite a bit of form and texture. The guy I live with thinks the flower buds of gymnocalyciums (“naked calyx”, literally, “naked pod”; the word “chalice” comes from “calyx”) are especially attractive.14041601




14041602Some other plants. Aloinopsis malherbei.14041604And this thing. It really is a plant. Aloinopsis schooneesii.14041605And, I don’t know, green fingers coming out of the earth, or something? A green octopus? Ebracteola wilmaniae14041608Here’s a really form-y and texture-y thing, Agave utahensis var. kaibabensis. This is in the garden, but it still counts. These plants are well out of my way, behind a bunch of other stuff, in a garden I don’t go into, ever, in case you were worried. The guy I live with does think about things like that, you know. 14041612And, of course, there’s this, for total excellence of both form and texture.14041626So there you have it. Some form and texture. Maybe sometime we’ll “make a dramatic statement”, too. I mean if plants can make statements. I think purebred border collies can, at least. 14041614


Until next time, then.


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12 Responses to form and texture

  1. Upping the excellence of the blog photos, Chess. Don’t know if I can stand any more in the advance of quality. That nose! texture and form, form and texture. I like all those plants, and, as we have most of them stashed in the backyard, husband territory, I know how difficult they are to photograph up close. Beautiful shots you give us. Love your last portrait too, the gravitas of purebred border collie undercut by the presence of play toy.
    For some reason, I am hungry now for artichoke. They’re in season, like gymnocalyciums, and I can melt butter in the microwave, yum.

    • paridevita says:

      Thanks; the guy I live with had a struggle getting the point-and-shoot to do macro, or faux macro, really, and he says all these gymnocalyciums are going into the little bed by the living room window. (Several species are cold hardy.) All the new plants are going there, actually. Artichokes. My mommy and the guy I live with used to steam them; he would put a piece a celery, a clove of garlic, a bay leaf into some water, a pour a little lemon juice into it, and steam away. They would have discussions about whether melted butter or mayonnaise was better with artichokes; the guy I live with said melted butter. He looked at artichokes at the store last time he went, but didn’t buy any, just sighed instead. People say you can grow them here, but they’re cheaper to buy at the store, figuring in water (which is inexpensive here) and the cost of the plant. I’m very much into gravitas, as you can tell.

  2. mhbomann says:

    Great rock plants…

    • paridevita says:

      They are indeed. The mesembs are much loved by rodents, like they’re gumdrops to them, or something, which is why they’re going into the relatively rodent-free front yard.

  3. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    And function? It’s hard for me to think of the plants without thinking about who it will feed or shelter.

    Back from yet another road trip, and I have to tell you that I found myself chuckling about the ‘reenactment’ of the lost coffee mug (with the substitute mug) during the 3+ hr drive back yesterday. I’m sure I’ll be chuckling about the solution to the mystery while I’m out in the yard today. It’s amazing how much changed in terms of what’s blooming during the 4 days I was away!

    • paridevita says:

      Staying here all day long makes it seem like things are in stasis. It takes a certain kind of person to display their failings online. Intentionally, I mean.

  4. Deborah S. Farrell says:

    Well, that kind of ‘failing’ doesn’t hurt anyone, and to the extent that I chuckle at it, it’s because I find the humanness endearing — comforting, even. I haven’t left a mug in the microwave for long because ours beeps every 15 seconds after the heating ends. But I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for hand tools (I JUST had it in my HAND! How could I lose it?!) And once, decades ago, I had a job tending vending machines & it was my duty to collect the change from the machines once a week. When the guy came to pick up the money, I couldn’t find it anywhere. I knew I’d JUST had it; there was no way anyone could have taken it (and I knew it would look like I had taken it if I couldn’t find it). Panic. But then I found the bag o’ money in the refrigerator. I must have gotten some food out to put in the refrigerated vending machine and absent-mindedly set the bag down in the fridge. We had a laugh about it literally being cold, hard cash. But sheesh!

    I had a professor in a graduate writing class tell me, “Well, I guess you have to be willing to make a fool of yourself to make this kind of essay work.” I guess. I thought I was just being human. But it wasn’t online because it was way before the internet. But he did send that essay, which I think was about learning to swear, to his agent in New York, and she liked it.

    • paridevita says:

      I don’t know ….the guy I live with gets afraid that he’s having senior moments, and with only me here to advise him, he tends to get pretty upset about it. I admit I’m not much help. And then there were all the weird noises in the kitchen at night, none of which I noticed because I was snoring.

  5. Debbie H. says:

    I love your blog so much. I picked it up from Tangley Cottage Gardens. I love Chess and his words of wisdom and he is so photogenic and beautiful!! I love anything dog and plant related. When I read your posts it makes my day!! I wish my Golden Retriever Ralph could read it too!

    • paridevita says:

      (I fixed the spelling of Chess’s name …..)
      Thanks; my words of wisdom are a lot more interesting than the guy I live with’s, which are mostly just peculiar.

  6. melanie says:

    I looked at the post from April 16th last year. 8″ of snow on the ground. I guess it *does* do that here.

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