friday clippings 6/24/16

Little Diego next-door has taken upon himself the challenge of learning drumming. In the last couple months, he’s been practicing on whatever is handy, whether it be pots, pans, buckets, gates. It was hard to tell at first how invested he was in his new-found chaotic project. I suspected it was just a goof to annoy his mom, but he has persisted for at least a few months. And today I could detect for the first time his discovery of pattern and repetition. I mean it was just the usual wild thrashing and then, boom, he was controlling the beat. A momentous day for the little guy. He lives just on the other side of the east fence, against which the three big lemon cypresses somewhat muffle his practice sessions.

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For muffling little drummer boys, privacy, beauty, bird sanctuary, the cypresses are incredibly valuable to us. But of course I couldn’t just let them be cypresses. They’d be perfect as scaffolding for vines, right? But not at the expense of harming them, of course. And that’s a very fine line, I’ve come to find out.

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I’m still amazed that the Solanum ‘Navidad, Jalisco’ from Annie’s Annuals has become this happy. It was planted against the fence, in the dry soil amongst the cypresses, with not enough light, and seemed to be puny and languishing for forever…until it wasn’t. This is all so new, that a plant has actually followed orders: Get in there, don’t mind the awful conditions, and climb that cypress, will ya? And it’s possible the solanum may be too obliging and eager to please. Because when it comes to choosing between the cypresses and a rollicking, rampageous vine, that’s an easy choice to make.
Little Diego has lots more practicing to do this summer.

Have a great weekend.

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7 Responses to friday clippings 6/24/16

  1. ks says:

    I expect my neighbors cast a wondering gaze to the second story windows here where an actor practices his lines, and if the show is a musical, sings really really loud.Show tunes in the neighborhood.

  2. Denise says:

    Kathy, how’s your privacy screening going? 😉

  3. hb says:

    Unfortunately this neighborhood has been a drummer’s paradise, plenty of drum sets. All that is lacking is talent.

    I do wonder about cypress and vines–they don’t like to be covered with anything or interfered with-that tough foliage has a fragile aspect. Your vine looks lovely, though.

  4. David Feix says:

    I have this same vine in my backyard, and Annie’s stock plant and subsequent catalog offerings are a direct result of Annie first seeing this in my back yard. I’ve got it climbing 30 feet up into a 25 year old Schefflera pueckleri, and love the effect. I just had to do an annual cut back to recapture my sun at ground level back, it was getting way too shady. Neighbors playing live music takes me back to my first years here in Berkeley, Ranchero music each Sunday afternoon. It let me know I wasn’t living in San Francisco anymore, Berkeley was a new experience.

  5. Kris P says:

    I’ve looked at that Solanum several times on Annie’s site – you may have convinced me to take the plunge. I do have a large pot set aside specifically for a vine on the south side.

    I laughed at your story of the little drummer boy. When we rented in Santa Monica, our neighbor, a woman who in time became one of my closest friends until I lost her to cancer, took up the flute. She had no prior musical experience (although her father was a semi-famous jazz musician). Her practice sessions were excruciating until suddenly, more than a year into it, everything finally clicked. She even played in the Santa Monica College orchestra for a time.

  6. How old is this little Diego? Young enough this is just a passing thing, or old enough you’d better get ready for the rest of the band?

    So tonight I attended a soirée at Dancing Oaks. Not only were there plants from the host nursery to choose from but Dan Hinkley and Far Reaches were also selling. I succumbed to a vine from Dan. I could get up and walk across the room to look at the tag and tell you it’s name, but no. I’m too tired. Touring gardens since 9am, day #2 and another full day tomorrow. This is hard work!

    Oh and tomorrow I face the goods from Gossler Farms…

  7. Denise says:

    @Hoov, now you’ve got me scared. I’m going to trim the vine back after this first bloom — and try to limit its coverage to one cypress. I’m already keeping it off the acacia.
    @David, I love those small-world connections to plants, and thank you for the vine! Hope you had a fine birthday.
    @Kris, the solanums I’ve grown in the past all fall victim to a specific solanum pest, a wing-backed something or other, so I’ve been avoiding this family lately, but no sign so far. That is so cool about your friend. The flute was the rage in high school — everyone wanted to be Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull).
    @Loree, he’s maybe five. No, don’t get up, just blog about the vine and soiree later — promise!

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