Thursday, May 24, 2007

It must be June

If the agapanthus is blooming, it must be June.

Slowly settling into the new place. I’ve started to re-establish my good old routines: Running at the gym and taking long walks in the neighborhood, catching up with writing after my shower after the walks and runs. I admit, I miss the old neighborhood and the long walk uphill through the soccer fields and park that ended my morning walks, the stream, the chirp of frogs, the peacefulness. The new place is busier, more urban, more gritty and the people are, in general, also a bit more urban and gritty. It’s all a bit more scary.

The neighborhoods are old. Some homes are dusty and overgrown in that vacant haunted house sort of way. It’s also a historic district, I think, so some homes, on the other hand, are renovated, in the original bright colors and ornamentation. Overall, the neighborhood is mature enough that the homes have evolved away from all being the same, one after another. There’s a nice quality of character that each home has, old and tired or neat and tidy, and I’ve already identified favorite gardens along my walking route, spilling over with wildflowers, or lush with tropical plants. I’d like to take photos to draw and paint from, even if I suspect that people will think that I’m casing their places, or would just be weirded out about it. It’s gritty enough, you know, that that’s what I’d be thinking. But, bit by bit, it feels more familiar.

The walkway up to our place has agapanthus, that solid staple in Southern California gardens. All the places I’ve lived in SoCal have had them. And the saying goes: If the agapanthus are blooming, it must be June. I see the bundles of purple flowers along our walkway straining to burst open, waiting, waiting, maybe holding back for just one more week so that they’ll accurately and politely make their June arrival date. Even if I’m still wary of the new neighborhood, it’s a sure, familiar sign that summer is on the way.

my red ti-leaf plant, a revitalized branch

My own plants are doing well, having survived the move, as well, and the bitter freeze before that. For all the goodness of the old place, there was this squirrel that would dig through all my potted plants every morning, looking for peanuts. My ginger and ti-leaf plants always looked stressed the two years there, never quite comfortable. The frost came, and I thought, “Great. That’ll just do them in.” I couldn’t throw them out, though. After the move, I had to cut away quite aggressively to get rid of all the old, dried dead limbs. Within a week, we started to see new leaves. Bunches of ‘em. The plants, protected from marauding pests, look happy and very content. My miniatures roses have bloomed once already. The ti-leaf plant looks like it’s on its way to being revived, and the ginger plants that J had re-potted for me earlier in the spring, look secure, unfurling broad and healthy green leaves. I’m hoping that this is the summer that I’ll get the first blossoms from the ginger plants. It’d be such a sweet – in more ways than one – and gentle blessing for the patio and for our life together. I’d hoped for a lazy summer last year, with barbequed burgers, fresh green salads and beer. The kitchen flood derailed my energy and motivation last year. But this year, I’m hopeful.

So, if the agapanthus are getting ready to bloom, it must be June.

The hot, but lazy, days of summer can’t be far away.

the smaller ginger plant. I'm hoping it'll bloom like this.


Karen said...

Ah yes, summer and agapanthus. We have them under our tall Chinese elms and they have taken over through the years. One of these years I'm going to paint them - maybe this time.

Thank goodness your tropicals are settling into their new homes!

Wendee said...

Yes, this year! Paint them! :)