Tag Archives: plants

The 09/25/13 Joy Jar

25 Sep

One always knows when it is officially autumn – when the pumpkins and mums are all over the supermarket. No matter what the calendar says Safeway, QFC, Freddies, and Albertson will tell you what time of the year it is. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are pumpkins and mums.

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many…. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Bittersweet October. The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter.
Carol Bishop Hipps, “October,” In a Southern Garden, 1995

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love — that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a pefect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
George Eliot, letter to Miss Lewis, 1st October 1841

No spring nor summer’s beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face….
John Donne, “Elegy IX: The Autumnal”

Oh how we love pumpkin season. You did know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right? Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin…. We anxiously anticipate it every year.
Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer, October 2010

A hidden fire burns perpetually upon the hearth of the world…. In autumn this great conflagration becomes especially manifest. Then the flame that is slowly and mysteriously consuming every green thing bursts into vivid radiance. Every blade of grass and every leaf in the woodlands is cast into the great oven of Nature; and the bright colours of their fading are literally the flames of their consuming. The golden harvest-fields are glowing in the heart of the furnace…. By this autumn fire God every year purges the floor of nature. All effete substances that have served their purpose in the old form are burnt up. Everywhere God makes sweet and clean the earth with fire. ~Hugh Macmillan

Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.
Jim Bishop

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came,—
The Ashes, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And every thing was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing;
Professor Wind, the band….
The sight was like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky….
George Cooper, “October’s Party”

Magnificent Autumn! He comes not like a pilgrim, clad in russet weeds. He comes not like a hermit, clad in gray. But he comes like a warrior, with the stain of blood upon his brazen mail. His crimson scarf is rent…. The wind…. wafts to us the odor of forest leaves, that hang wilted on the dripping branches, or drop into the stream. Their gorgeous tints are gone, as if the autumnal rains had washed them out. Orange, yellow, and scarlet, all are changed to one melancholy russet hue…. There is a melancholy and continual roar in the tops of the tall pines…. It is the funeral anthem of the dying year.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Well, it’s a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
‘Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I’m trying to please to the calling
Of your heartstrings that play soft and low…
Van Morrison

Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.
Hal Borland

O’ pumpkin pie, your time has come ’round again and I am autumnrifically happy!
Terri Guillemets

[A]utumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling. She occupied her mind as much as possible in such like musings and quotations…
Jane Austen

Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of completion; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance. What man can stand with Autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the substance of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon?
Hal Borland

Autumn is the perfect time to take account of what we’ve done, what we didn’t do, and what we’d like to do next year.

The 08/27/13 Joy Jar

27 Aug

The City of Seattle has a ‘pea-patch’ program which provides spaces for urban gardeners. The ‘pea-patches’ are plots of land scattered throughout the city where urban gardeners can work their magic. These plots show the personalities of the communities and the gardeners. They add character and community to an urban area. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the urban gardeners.

“At the heart of gardening there is a belief in the miraculous.”
Mirabel Osler

“Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.”
Rachel Carson

“Gardens, scholars say, are the first sign of commitment to a community. When people plant corn they are saying, let’s stay here. And by their connection to the land, they are connected to one another.”
Anne Raver

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
Nelson Henderson

“You don’t have a garden just for yourself. You have it to share.”
Augusta Carter

“You ask how many friends I have? Water and stone, bamboo and pine.
The moon rising over the eastern hill is a joyful comrade.
Besides these five companions, what other pleasure should I ask? ”
Yon Sun-do (1587-1671), Korean Poet, Sigo

“Out of gardens grow fleeting flowers but lasting friendships.”
-Beverly Rose Hopper

“A garden is a public service and having one a public duty. It is a man’s contribution to the community.”
Richardson Wright, Truly Rural, 1922

“That which is not good for the beehive cannot be good for the bees.”
Marcus Aurelius

“If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain.
If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees.
If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow people.”
Chinese Proverb

“The best things that can come out of the garden are gifts for other people.”
Jamie Jobb

The 08/26/13 Joy Jar

26 Aug

Walking around one just has to notice all the dirt. Things grow out of dirt and sometimes dirt is just there to let us know that it is there. There is a whole cleaning industry build around the idea that thirt must be removed. Still, without dirt, no food. No food, no moi or you. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is dirt.

People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die.

I sometimes think that the price of liberty is not so much eternal vigilance as eternal dirt.
George Orwell

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

A book reads the better which is our own, and has been so long known to us, that we know the topography of its blots, and dog’s ears, and can trace the dirt in it to having read it at tea with buttered muffins.
Charles Lamb

This magnificent butterfly finds a little heap of dirt and sits still on it; but man will never on his heap of mud keep still.
Joseph Conrad

I’ve always believed that if you don’t stay moving, they will throw dirt on you.
Paul Anka

“The way I see it, the difference between farmers and suburbanites is the difference in the way we feel about dirt. To them, the earth is something to be respected and preserved, but dirt gets no respect. A farmer likes dirt. Suburbanites like to get rid of it. Dirt is the working layer of earth, and dealing with dirt is as much a part of farm life as dealing with manure. Neither is user-friendly but both are necessary.”
E.L. Konigsburg, The View from Saturday

If you see a whole thing – it seems that it’s always beautiful. Planets, lives… But up close a world’s all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life’s a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern.
Ursula K. Le Guin

The 08/24/13 Joy Jar

24 Aug

Moi really likes weeping willow trees and thinks that they get a bad rap because folk think that they are sad. They are not, they are majestic. Here are Five Cool Facts about weeping willows:

There is a good deal of symbolism associated with willows. The Westernized thought of weeping willows as a symbol of grief most likely originates from a Bible verse, “By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the willow-trees we hung up our harps.” (Psalm 137), hence the name Salix babylonica. However, it is generally agreed upon by historians that the trees referred to in this verse are not actually weeping willows; they were most likely poplars. Ironically, in other parts of the world such as China, which is were the tree originated, the willow represents vitality, growth, rebirth and immortality. This symbolism stems from its ability to grow easily from cut branches. Nevertheless, the association between weeping willows and grief persisted throughout history, and were a common gravestone ornament by the 19th century.

Great Growers
Weeping willows are one of the fastest growing trees and sprout easily. In fact, they grow so easily that oftentimes they originate from a broken branch lying the in the soil. It is therefore very adaptable to soil conditions; weeping willows can flourish in both alkaline and acidic conditions. These trees grow an average of 6-8 feet per year and upon maturity can be up to 50 feet tall and 35 feet wide.

Helpful and Harmful Roots
Weeping willow roots are aggressive water seekers. In their search for water, roots can block pipes and damage nearby structures such sidewalks. This is why willows are often planted in open areas near a body of water Just as the roots can be damaging if placed in the wrong setting, they can very helpful if placed in the right setting. Weeping willows are used to help with soil drainage and can help prevent erosion.

Medicinal Uses
People have taken advantage of the medicinal properties of willow trees since ancient times (as early as 400 BC). Chewing on willow bark was an effective way of treating fever and inflammation. This is because the bark contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to the active ingredient in aspirin, acetylsalicylic acid. Recent studies have also suggested that willow bark contains additional antioxidant, antiseptic and immune boosting properties. Research suggests that willow bark is effective at treating headaches, lower back pain and osteoporosis.

Craft Uses
Weeping willows also have a role in arts and crafts. Willows have long been used for wicker work and basketry. Before plastic was invented, willow wickerwork was used to make an array of containers. Willow wood was also used to build houses and furniture. Today, using willow wood is a good way to add a natural rustic element to your living space. Weeping willows have also been used to manufacture charcoal, cricket bats and made into a dye for tanning leather. http://www.ask.com/explore/5-cool-facts-about-weeping-willow-trees

Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the majestic weeping willow tree.

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
Bruce Lee

The willow which bends to the tempest, often escapes better than the oak which resists it; and so in great calamities, it sometimes happens that light and frivolous spirits recover their elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character.
Albert Schweitzer

There once was a Willow, and he was very old,
And all his leaves fell off from him, and left him in the cold;
But ere the rude winter could buffet him with snow,
There grew upon his hoary head a crop of mistletoe.
All wrinkled and furrowed was this old Willow’s skin,
His taper finger trembled, and his arms were very thin;
Two round eyes and hollow, that stared but did not see;
And sprawling feet that never walked, had this most ancient tree.

Julianna Horatia Ewing, “The Willow Man”

The 08/13/13 Joy Jar

12 Aug

Moi has been walking more lately and she intends to build up her endurance. While walking, she notices that in some areas there are many plants many consider to be weeds. She thought about it and wondered if weeds were important.The Garden Organic blog posted the article, Benefits of Weeds in Farming Systems:
Organic farmers and growers should not be aiming to completely eradicate weeds from their fields and farms. Management rather than complete control is a more realistic and desirable goal. The word ‘management’ emphasises use of appropriate methods to maintain acceptable weed levels that take into account short-term economic and long-term ecological issues.

In spite of all the difficulties caused by weeds, they can offer some beneficial properties, particularly when occurring at low densities. These aspects should be utilised in the farming system, although this may make organic management more complicated than chemical based systems. Some of the potential benefits of weeds are listed below:
• helping to conserve soil moisture and prevent erosion. A ground cover of weeds will reduce the amount of bare soil exposed helping to conserve nutrients, particularly nitrogen which could otherwise be leached away, especially on light soils.
• food and shelter can be provided for natural enemies of pests and even alternative food sources for crop pests. The actual presence of weed cover may be a factor in increasing effectiveness of biological control of pests and reducing pest damage.
• weeds can also be valuable indicators of growing conditions in a field, for example of water levels, compaction and pH.
• weeds can be an important source of food for wildlife, especially birds. Bird populations have been declining on farmland over the last few decades and leaving weeds as a resource has been shown to help revive bird populations… http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicweeds/weed_information/weedtype.php?id=-2
Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are plants considered to be weeds.

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.
Doug Larson

A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.

A weed is no more than a flower in disguise, Which is seen through at once, if love give a man eyes.
James Russell Lowell

They whom truth and wisdom lead, can gather honey from a weed.
William Cowper

Ignorance is an evil weed, which dictators may cultivate among their dupes, but which no democracy can afford among its citizens.
William Beveridge

If we had paid no more attention to our plants than we have to our children, we would now be living in a jungle of weed.
Luther Burbank

Violence is like a weed – it does not die even in the greatest drought.
Simon Wiesenthal

I didn’t want to tell the tree or weed what it was. I wanted it to tell me something and through me express its meaning in nature.
Wynn Bullock

The 04/27/13 Joy Jar

26 Apr


Rhododendrons and azaleas grow in most parts of the world, but they grow especially well in Seattle. Gardens all over the city are adorned with these beautiful flowers. They are a sure sign of the arrival of Spring and early summer. Today;s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are the beautiful rhododendrons and azaleas.

And in the woods a fragrance rare
Of wild azaleas fills the air,
And richly tangled overhead
We see their blossoms sweet and red.
Dora Read Goodale—Spring Scatters Far and Wide.

The earth laughs in flowers.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I must have flowers, always, and always.”
Claude Monet

In joy or sadness flowers are our constant friends.”
Kakuzō Okakura, The Book Of Tea

A flower blossoms for its own joy.”
Oscar Wilde

Now Spring returns with leaf and blade,
Some seek the garden, some the glade;
And all to Nature turn, but I
To the fresh fields of Poetry,

Sweet are the first green leaves, and sweet
The scents, and genial the first heat;
And backed by pine or cypress glooms
How rich the rhododendron blooms!

Yet rich or sweet as these appear,
They were as wonderful last year;
And all as then move without pause
Through the same course by the same laws….

Archibald Young Campbell

The 04/25/13 Joy Jar

25 Apr


Moi read this story about 72,000 Ladybugs Released in Mall of America and she was immediately intrigued because Ladybugs are one of the few bugs that moi actually likes. Not only are Ladybugs helpful bugs, but they are cute. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the Ladybug.

Little red bug, oh so cute,
Here’s a black spot for your suit…
Susan M. Paprocki

How brave a ladybug must be!
Each drop of rain is big as she.
Can you imagine what you’d do,
If raindrops fell as big as you?
Aileen Fisher

The Ladybug wears no disguises.
She is just what she advertises.
A speckled spectacle of spring,
A fashion statement on the wing….
A miniature orange kite.
A tiny dot-to-dot delight.
J. Patrick Lewis, “The Little Buggers”

Never hurt a ladybug
We need them in the garden
Ladybugs help flowers grow
So we must give them pardon!

The 04/06/13 Joy Jar

5 Apr

One of the great joys of Spring is the season of the tulip. Tulips grow well in Washington in more colors and varieties than one can imagine. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the Tulip.


A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower. You didn’t have to struggle to make your face different than anyone else’s on earth. It just is. You are unique because you were created that way. Look at little children in kindergarten. They’re all different without trying to be. As long as they’re unselfconsciously being themselves, they can’t help but shine. It’s only later, when children are taught to compete, to strive to be better than others, that their natural light becomes distorted.

Marianne Williamson

But I have always thought that these tulips must have had names. They were red, and orange and red, and red and orange and yellow, like the ember in a nursery fire of a winter’s evening. I remember them.

Neil Gaiman

Here tulips bloom as theyare told; Unkempt about those hedges blows An English unofficial rose.

Rupert Chawner Brooke

The fountain is my speech. The tulips are my speech. The grass and trees are my speech.”

George T. Delacorte


The business of a poet, said Imlac, is to examine, not the individual but the species; to remark general properties and large appearances. He does not number the streaks of the tulip.”

Samuel Johnson

Every person is like a single tulip. While they may blend when together, each one is special in its own light.

Daniella Kessler

The 03/25/13 Joy Jar

24 Mar

Moi was on a walk and a butterfly floated by. This must be a hardy little creature, because even though the calendar says Spring, it has been cold. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are butterflies.

“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”                                                                                           Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

“Butterflies are self propelled flowers. ”                 

R.H. Heinlein

“A power of Butterfly must be –

The Aptitude to fly

Meadows of Majesty concedes

And easy Sweeps of Sky -”

Emily Dickinson

“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”                                                                                                      

Hans Christian Andersen

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.                                                                                                                                                        Unknown

The 03/21/13 Joy Jar

20 Mar
Today was the first day of Spring and in Seattle, the weather can take many paths.  Spring can come early or late.  The calendar says Spring and moi is going with the calendar. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is Spring.
The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
Henry Van Dyke
The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearl’d;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in His heaven–
All’s right with the world!
Robert Browning
Spring unlocks the flowers to paint the laughing soil.
Bishop Reginald Heber

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.
Virgil A. Kraft


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils.
William Wordsworth

April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks Go.
Christopher Morley
John Mistletoe.

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!
Mark Twain
Tom Sawyer, Detective.