June is Bursting Out All Over

Sunday, March 30th, 2003 | Garden | No Comments

…in March!  My clematis, pacific coast iris hybrids, and wisteria are just starting to bloom, so more pix later, in about two weeks when my roses open in an explosion of pink along the entire east wall of my garden.  Come have tea with me in my garden.  Or a martini…


Saturday, January 25th, 2003 | Garden, Gay | No Comments

Yesterday the first plum blossom opened in my garden, and Chris told me “It’s over.”


Friday, January 3rd, 2003 | Garden | No Comments

Today I started my winter pruning, aggressively hacking my way through ivy, jasmine, boxwood, clematis, grape, etc… Next week I plan to radically reshape the cotoneasters, the plum, and the brugmansia. Then the roses. I look forward to the roses the most, and save them for last. They are as old as my house (1929), Cecille Brunner, the old “sweetheart rose” of San Francisco, and run the entire length of my fence, and have been trained into one of the cotoneasters and the hawthorne at the top of my garden. I once made an artwork out of Dean Smith’s furry buns and called it “Sweetheart,” after the rose. It used to be planted all over the city, but has fallen out of favor, bizarrely, as it is disease resistant, has an incredible profusion of flowers in the spring, followed by intermittent blooms through winter, can grow up to 20 feet in a season, and has a lovely little pale pink delicately scented flower.

Tonight I’m off to see Stalker at the Castro, and actually, have to leave.

Parrots, Shaving, New Piece, Voice Recognition

Friday, August 30th, 2002 | Art, Friends, Garden | No Comments

It’s been a while, blog, and I haven’t been terribly busy, just lazy, eating lots, drinking more, entertaining out-of-town guests from New York, the midwest, and Tokyo while also enjoying some time alone in the house while Bob’s been away on vacation, and not getting a thing done, although I am working out again, after a 3 (or 6) month hiatus. Yesterday the Parrots of Telegraph Hill (a noisy flock [?] of 80 or so parrots that were set loose in San Francisco around 1972) came and visited my hawthorne tree, having a sensational time eating the berries and squawking hysterically. I love them. Around this time of year they come to my garden and eat the berries and poop all over the place. Just like relatives.

I shaved my beard off this morning. I haven’t been able to convincingly transform myself into a bear, or even a cub, so it’s back to being a twinky–a 36 year old one, though, with 20 extra pounds and graying hair. This is not an age that I know what to do with. Can I fast-forward to old and distinguished?

Okay, so it’s back to work tomorrow. I have to finish this piece for my show in Portland this week. Big Chrissy is going to model for me tomorrow. I’m taking no chances, and have designed the outline for the piece.

I usually don’t work this way, so I’m extremely nervous that it’s not going to work, especially since I’m starting with a 2-dimensional draft and I want to make a piece that’s multi-dimensional. Typically I respond to my subject without a finished piece in mind, and then find inspiration in the individual images, piecing them together like a jigsaw puzzle. Stay tuned for the results… or the lack thereof.

I and BC are bonding with our G4s–we’ve discovered the voice recognition software. Frequently I can be heard screaming “Computer, BEARLICIOUS” or “Computer, FUR BEAR DOT NET.”

Handsfree, finally.


Monday, July 1st, 2002 | Garden | No Comments

Last night sitting in my garden, a ladybug crawled up my shirt. I gently placed him on my plum tree, where there was much to feast on in the way of aphid entrees. I saw at least two other ladybugs. If this were ancient Egypt, I would have built a monument to them. So happy to see them return.

It’s a beautiful day in San Francisco today.

Coco vs. the Aphids

Friday, June 7th, 2002 | Garden | No Comments

I’ve been working in my garden today, repotting cymbidiums. This happens about once every 10 years, and it’s exhausting work. The orchids have to be sawed out of the pots, and then hacked into clumps of 3 to 5 pseudobulbs prior to being repotted. I have about 8 big pots of them.

Meanwhile, the Battle of the Aphids 2002 has begun. The attack on my plum tree is in full swing. I tend to just blast the evil little beasts with water, but this has to be done every day, because they reproduce incredibly fast. The first few generations are all female, reproducing asexually. Toward the end of summer the tiny lesbians produce a crop of males to mate with, and then they lay their eggs for the next season. That’s when I get tough, spraying the dormant tree with an oil or parafin-based spray that coats the egg and kills the spawn of the incestuous union. I’ve tried ladybugs, which are supposed to eat them, but they all fly away, supposedly to a garden where there are even more aphids, but I can’t imagine such a place.

Last year they invaded my oncidium, along with a colony of ants. (The ants eat the secretions from the aphids–could you imagine?) Showing no mercy, I soaked the orchid in water until they all climbed onto the leaves, eggs in hand, and then I blasted them with an oil spray, until they were no more, or so I thought…. I set the plant out overnight, the leaves covered in dead ants, but when I woke up, the leaves were bare, and I saw the survivors marching off into the garden carrying the bodies of their dead comrades!

Supposedly the volume of ants on earth is equivalent to that of humanity. It’s only a matter of time…

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