Monday, September 08, 2008

House-Garden Keeping Note

I'd like to apologize for the sudden absence of posts the last few days (as well as lack of responses to comments and/or emails) ... I truly enjoy and value my regular readers/commenters, so I do feel a certain responsibility to keep up my end of things here at the Oasis. Anyway, the thing is I've been pretty sick since last Friday, when some weird gastrointestinal disturbance hit me with a sledgehammer, and has put me out of action since then. It started with a horrid headache, progressed into severe stomach cramps, and on to what Woody Allen might refer to as the "full complement of nasties" throughout the weekend. I was laid low, so to speak, so low that I didn't sleep at all Friday night and spent most of Saturday in much the same state, from which I eventually emerged enough to take up position in my recliner downstairs for part of the day. So I took it very easy, snuggled in a blanket, and caught up with some of the programs and movies I had recorded on the DVR, most notably Transamerica, which I had been wanting to see for quite some time. Maybe it was the story (I think it likely was) or just the vulnerable state I was in, but that film really touched me in all the teary-eyed places. I was really glad I finally got to see it, and Felicity Huffmann certainly did deliver an Oscar caliber performance ... too bad she didn't win! (Reese Witherspoon beat her out for it.) Anyway ... I'm on the mend now, and though it may take me a day or two more to get back up to regular posting speed, I'm feeling much better and am almost up to solid food again, finally. I've just been left very dehydrated, exhausted and feeling weak, so I'm taking small steps back....
So, given the recent interest here in Celosia, these are a couple of shots from the 2007 archives that should give you some more tantalizing ideas of just what these versatile plants can get up to when left to their own devices. I've often mentioned Celosia's propensity to "sport" freely in the garden when planted with other varieties nearby and these are just two of the examples we had show up in last year's garden. I called the first one "Pineapple" (for obvious reasons!), which was apparently a cross between some 'Cristata' (cockscomb type) variety and a yellow 'Plumosa,' both of which we've had over the years in the front boulder bed. I wish I had collected seed from this one, because after appearing for a couple of years it has vanished this year and perhaps reverted to its original from, as I posited in an earlier post here. If you click through to the full view, you can see where the seeds form and emerge once the bloom has dried ... this is how all the 'Plumosa' varieties seed, so it's easy to see how they lend themselves nicely to profligate cross-pollination.

And who could quibble with the sheer, bizarre brilliance of this second sport? Again, an example of some 'Plumosa x Cristata' definitely, and wow, I should have tried to replicate this one, but as we are both often wont to do, we let them go back to ground to re-emerge in a different form the next year.... But then there's our new crush, Caracas, which we will definitely be collecting this year, as well as any of the odder ones that may still show up...


Roses and Lilacs said...

Gosh, I'm sorry to hear about your illness. Sounds like a case of food poisoning. I felt like that once after dining at a very nice restaurant. Anyhow, we are just glad to see you feeling better.

Beautiful picture. Next year... I see so many things I want to try next season. Hope I find the time and space.

Gail said...

I hear you IVG, I was out, too with a head cold. I prefer the head cold to your gastro upset anyday! Glad you are back...your posts and comments were missed!

Celosia is certainly an interesting flowering plant; all feathery and showy. I will save the Dark Caracas seeds and let some fall to the ground to see what they produce. I just hope the lovely red leaves are a dominant feature.

Felicity Huff is a under appreciated as an actress. It might not help that she is in a soapy tv show; even if it is a fun watch!

Take care,

boran2 said...

I hope that you're feeling better soon, IVG.

Shady Gardener said...

What great shots of your celosia! I'm sorry you've had such a bad health spell, but I'm glad you're on the mend! (Did you miss your Monarch's emergence?) My monarda is looking Very Happy!!! :-) We were out of town again until last night. Hopefully I can spend some time outdoors tomorrow.

Janet said...

((((POOR IVG!!!))))) Hope you are feeling much better. Whatcha do? Try to smoke one of those Zanzabarbarainnia-CastorOil-thingies from your garden? ;)

The above plant... kinda looks like a cantelope that has imploded. :)

Get better! And take care of yourself.

I thought I had foodpoisoning or something gawd awful like that but with dizziness... but it comes and goes. Turns out I get to deal with vertigo crap due to my inner ear cyst "thingy". It sucks but not much right now we can do.


Annie in Austin said...

Poor baby! I hope you feel better soon, IVG...well, maybe you'd rather delay full recovery until you're caught up with your movies-to-watch stack ;-]

This pale gold celosia is a pretty one - and I like anything named pineapple.

You know what the most surreal phrase in your post is for me? "Snuggling in a blanket". It's been many, many months since that happened around here! It's after 11PM and still 86°F in Austin.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi folks, and thanks for the well wishes! I'm definitely on the upswing again, and will probably have some yummy pics of Toad Lilies up on Thursday (if all goes well with work and health). I'm still just so tired I fell asleep tonight during my favorite nightly show Countdown! That's what I get for working a full schedule when I wasn't 100%, but such is life sometimes...

Marnie, thanks for the kind words, and I wondered about food poisoning too but the only things I had eaten that day before I got ill was some toast and yogurt, so go figure. Definitely seek out some Celosia next year, or better yet, buy yourself some 'Cockscomb' seeds and start them yourself ... those definitely dry great!

Gail, so I was not alone? Sorry to hear that you had a cold at this time of the year, I just hate that. Winter, I can deal with it, but late summer, nope. Sounds like a good plan with your Celosia, and make sure to start a bunch in pots and transplant them all over next year, you know, kind of like laying down the bedrock crop (hehe). BTW, I collected some deep red 'Luna' hibiscus seeds for you earlier when I was out back with the dogs and noticed a pod was ready.... :-) Oh, and I've never seen that show Felicity H is in, and have only seen her in a few films. This was very good one for her.

Thanks, B2! Hope all is well up your way and that it's not fall just yet!

Shady, thanks on both counts! No it's still there, but I think these really cool temps lately (we were in the low 40's last night) are delaying it, but we'll check again tomorrow. Glad to hear your monarda is doing well ... I still need to check for roots on the sedum and get it in this weekend, perhaps.

Hey Janet, I'm doing much better, don't worry. HA, I'd never touch that stuff, other than to collect or plant seeds, lol.

Isn't that a freak? I miss seeing it this year, though it wasn't the most colorful it sure did stand out.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Annie,
I don't know how I missed you earlier, sorry about that! I'm still a bit hazy of mind as you might have guessed...

Thanks for the well wishes, and oh, if I could delay everything to catch up with my movies, I'd never work again! BTW, I should have my own copy of The Fall in my grubby paws Wed or Thurs, as Amazon already notified me it had shipped! Can't wait to see it again ... I think it will be even better the 2nd time around.

As for the surreal blanket (that made me laugh), we've had a dramatic cool down over the past week and last night was in the low 40s here, but on a warming trend again. I had aches and chills as well, so that blanket was a bit of a non-sequitur, but it kept me warm when I felt bad. Even Pepa joined me for a while, probably because she loves nesting so much in that particular blanket, lol.

Sounds like you may get some rain (hopefully not worse) from Ike this weekend?

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I don't know what's going on, but I was laid up with a nasty cold last weekend. What a bunch of sickies we were. Glad you're feeling better. I like this color of this Celosia, but I think I like Caracas even better. (I don't do subtle very well.)

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Sounds like more than one of us gardeners spent a miserable weekend last week! Hope you're better now too ...

Yeah, I don't do subtle too well either(as if you hadn't figured that out, lol). I just love the shapes these sports morph into, though the color is usually not as intense. We do have some red ones up now (not real big yet)and they're starting to look pretty odd. I should have some pics in a week or so... But yes! Caracas is the one to look for (or even seeds), we're totally sold on it.

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