Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tall Tales or "Have You Got a Minute?"

Have you got a few minutes?
I have a long introduction before I get to the subject of my post! :-)
First, you need to check out this post by Kate at

Her photo is the seedhead of a Clematis tangutica vine.
Hers is a beautiful verse -
A poem by William Butler Yeats entitled, 'The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water'.

My comment? Probably absurd, but it's what I thought when I saw her photo! The following lines are my comment and her (generous, tolerant) reply. :-)

"Shady Gardener said, 'That is a gorgeous seedhead. Not to interrupt the wonderful flow of the poem and its appropriateness, does it also look a little like a subject of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss?

"Catch!" calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
"It's a Truffula Seed.
It's the last one of all!
You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax and all of his friends
may come back.' "

And Kate's reply?

"I love it, Shady! I'll forever think of Dr. Seuss and Truffala seeds - and await the arrival of Lorax and his friends!!"

Now, you must see why I made this post. Her photo has been in the back of my mind ever since I first saw it. As I am now wending my way through old photos and organizing many of them by subject, I ran across this photo! What do you think, Kate?? ;-)

(please click on each of these photos to be able to receive full detail!)
Actually the above photo shows the seed head of the Pasque flower, Pulsatilla vulbaris. It blooms in April - May. It's suited to zones 4 - 8, and it likes full sun to partial shade.

Isn't it beautiful?Only partly shady, here!


Gail said...

I love the seedheads of the pulsatilla Shady. It is wonderful. There are so many plants that I don't try but may have to! Keep warm up there. gail

bobbie said...

Yes, it is beautiful! And I love the poetry.

Have you seen what I call my Dr. Seuss plant? It's a mandevilla I brought inf or the winter, which has taken off all the way to the ceiling and really looks weird.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi ShadyG,
I see you're up to more Plants 'N Poetry. Hmmm. I'm not sure there's a cure for that illness...Oh well, you'll just have to live with it:)

I love your take on the poem and also find those plants intriguing...I've never seen nor heard of them. Wonder how they'd do in my shady backyard here in VA. I will have to look into them just to see!


Shady Gardener said...

Gail, You are so smart! ;-) You really should try this one. It would "fit right in!"

Bobbi, Have you posted on this? I need to check it out!! :-)

Jan, I can live with it... I'm just not sure everyone else can! ha. :-)
I believe you should check into these plants. They are so wonderful... and early bloomers!

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Shady,
Aren't seed heads fascinating? Especially when one thinks about the tactics they're revealing to propagate themselves, then the bizarre often makes perfect sense!

We've never grown pulsatilla, but that purple grabbed me so we may have to give a few a try this year if the snow ever goes away!

Stay warm down there with all the snow (we're up to about 15" since last Friday here) and cold!!! Such is Iowa in January, eh?

Shady Gardener said...

Hi IVG, Seed heads are fascinating, and they do make sense. :-) I hope you can try this, they're Very early bloomers and they make you even happier to see Spring! Ooooh, boy. Cold is an understatement right now, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I remember that post by Kate and I'm enjoying this one, as well. Love those seed heads! So many layers of intrigue, within a well-planned garden... from the first sprout of spring to autumn's last gasp. /Deb

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Deb!! I thought you might like this, too! Are you in armpit height snowbanks, yet? ;-) I have visions of you cutting blocks out of snowdrifts to take Lucy Maude outdoors. ha. At least she has a sweater. Sidney wanted outdoors this morning. He thought he'd take off down the driveway, and by the end of his run he'd frozen up and I had to carry him back indoors!! :-)

Anonymous said...

We've had alternating periods of arctic blasts and mini thaws... right now, a hard, crusty snow pack that's about knee height... no armpit depths, quite yet.

Every snowstorm, the first areas shoveled are the Lucy paths and bird feeder access... this facilitates her squirrel hunting, as well. It's in the teens today - BRRR! Tomorrow will be around 10-12º.

Poor Sidney! Poor you, having to carry him. Do his feet freeze up like LM's? She has booties, but her teeny, narrow feet won't stay at the bottoms and she reuses to wear them! She has lots of coats and sweaters, as we all know from the fashion show, but the burgundy and gray is her favorite... not as constricting as the jackets.

Does Sidney go out in his birthday suit, or does he don the appropriate winter apparel? Tell him Lucy sends regards (from the depths of my recliner) and says to keep comfy-cozy.

Shady Gardener said...

Yep, poor Sidney's feet get cold. I did buy him some baby socks once. I'd better locate them. I'm sure they'd help! But he has no sweater. I'd better get sewing and/or knitting! :-)

troutbirder said...

The pasque flowers are somewhat rare around here to be found on "goats prairies in the southeastn corner. I'd never seen the seed heads before. Interesting!

Shady Gardener said...

troutbirder, Thanks for stopping. My mom tells me that when we were very young, there was a pasture (this takes place in extreme north central Iowa) where white pasque flowers bloomed in the early spring.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I hadn't thought about it in that way before, but the seedheads of pasque flower DO look very Seussian. As do the buds of some hepatica (a nice woodland spring flower). Also, as a fellow shady gardener, I just found out about woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus), a native plant that grows well in part shade. I'm sowing it soon and hopefully it will bloom next year! Do you grow this?

Kathleen said...

I've never grown pasque flowers either but I've admired them for many years. I wonder now why it is that I've never tried them?? Gorgeous everything (flowers, seed heads, etc.)

Dreamybee said...

Oh, definitely Lorax plants! LOL. I went to a cactus and succulent garden here on O'ahu earlier this year, and there were some plants there that I call the Dr. Seuss plants. They looked exactly like something he would have drawn! I wish I had taken some pictures.

Shady Gardener said...

Monica, You're coming up with some great ideas for me!! :-)

Kathleen, Please look these up. I know you'd like them!

Dreamybee, How fun. Do you remember the names of these plants??