Sunday, December 26, 2010

sunday morning snippets

The first plant that I remember planting here at Acorn Cottage was the culinary sage next to the front walkway, a gift from B long before I'd a home of my own. The second plant was this Nandina domesticata, for which several trips to local nurseries were necessary, to find one that was not the fancy dwarfed or color variant forms, but the plant that matched my childhood memory.

Commonly called "heavenly bamboo", it is not a bamboo at all, but a member of the barberry family; unlike common barberry, it has no thorns or spiky stems, just a round-the-year beauty that impressed me as a child, and still pleases me greatly. It gets no supplemental water and grows steadily but slowly larger, eventually it can grow quite tall and leggy, which will look beautiful at the outer corner of my front porch, where it now crouches as a small shrub. It seems to be doing well, a plant that is not "difficult", with red berries as bright as holly in the dark of winter, sprays of white flowers in their season, and a tidy habit of growth.
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Japanese artifacts are a great and abiding pleasure of mine, as anyone that has ever been to Acorn Cottage will find apparent. So also is participating in various gift and craft exchanges; this is the second year I've done the Hexmas Sekrit Santa Swap, organised by my friend C. A few days ago a small package arrived in the mail, carefully wrapped so as to be impervious to my (gentle) shaking... bad me, I know, but I just can't help myself... It was tortuously difficult to wait till this morning to open my gift, but look at the exquisite bit of carving that the clever and perceptive T sent me:

a beautiful netsuke,
actual size ≈ 5.5cm

and underneath...

look at the chicken feet!
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Like many, this time of year has me feeling rather nostalgic, both for dear ones far away, and the dear ones that have gone where I may not yet follow. Lately, in the last few years, many images, and songs especially, from my youngerself memories can suddenly catch at my heart, (fortunately not so often when out and about in the world, since a tearful face is not my preferred one to show in public) I remember this song when it was new, and these women from long before that, but in the words of an entirely different song "we will get by, we will abide..."

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