When I logged into Blogger tonight, I noticed that, to date, I had published 399 posts since June of 2006 ... which of course set me to thinking about what number 400 should be, and honestly I had no idea what I wanted to do to commemorate the arrival of a nice round number (that even managed to surprise me). Then I thought about how this blog got started in the first place ... my dear friend Olivia in Ottawa had finally convinced me that I really should do a gardening blog and pushed me gently into taking the plunge. After some initial hand holding and (my) incessant questions about logistics, she set me on the course of creating Urban Oasis and what it has become over the past two years. Olivia has been a constant correspondent, mentor and coach for this blog over the past two years, and if nothing else (among many, many things), she taught me how to go beyond my basic 'I'm a flower documentarian, not an artist!' view of photography and take risks and experiment with how I present my subjects. Not only have I learned much, but the quality of what I've been able to do with my humble efforts here has benefited immensely under Olivia's gentle tutelage. I hope that readers older and newer have appreciated the invisible finger guiding much of what you see here in the photos ... I'm still learning (especially with the S700 since it came on the scene), and really appreciate those who come along for the ride!
One of the longstanding topics of conversation Olivia and I have had over the years relates to this simple flower (which has now achieved weed status in our garden), Datura meteloides, commonly known as (variously) 'Moonflower,' 'Angel's Trumpet,' 'Devil's Trumpet,' Jimson or 'Loco' Weed and a plethora of other not so laudatory epithets. When we first got acquainted (on a community blog I no longer frequent), she was envious that we grew these in the garden, and had fond memories of her grandmother growing huge specimens when she was a child. At that point, she had no access to plants or seeds to grow her own, and she wanted some in her garden so badly.... Despite various schemes to get the seeds past Canadian Customs (all abandoned due to this plant's bad reputation as a powerful psychoactive toxin), she finally came into possession of some plants last year and was able to grow them in her garden at last. I haven't heard whether she has them again this year (likely, as they self-seed promiscuously), but even if not, I was compelled to put up this flower in her honour.
So here you go, Olivia, I hope you enjoy this photo Fernymoss captured on Sunday as he caught one of the blooms opening ... it's not the best photo you'll ever see here on the blog, but it had your name all over it. Thanks for all the help and inspiration over the years, toots, I trust you know this one comes from the heart of the garden to you!