Sunday, March 1, 2009

There she blows!

Today's post will rely heavily on quotes from Moby Dick, after which book we have named the Agave americana variegata that was recently beached at P. Garden (thanks to John!)

"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November (March) in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea (the garden) as soon as I can."

And so we went across the street to plant the mighty plant, in the rain. But how could we move it? It's heavy, and prickly, and recalcitrant... "I rejoice in my spine, as in the firm audacious staff of that flag which I fling half out to the world."

First, we dug a hole for it, moving several plants out of harm's way first. We used the dug out mulch and dirt to make a ramp up the side of the bed.

We rolled the massive beast onto a tarp, and roped it together. "Panting and snorting like a mad battle steed that has lost its rider" we dragged it up the hill, and up our clever ramp. "Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way!"

We finally got the plant upright in the hole, and shored up.
"There she blows!--there she blows! A hump like a snow-hill! It is Moby Dick!"

And then, we went inside "...because truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast."

""Grub, ho!" now cried the landlord, flinging open a door, and in we went to breakfast." Well, lunch actually.


I am all Herman Melville'd out, thanks goodness, due to loads more digging. We dropped by Sloat Garden Center on the way home from the barn, and they had all sorts of Echiums. This is one of Matt's favorite plants ever, and he went on an Echium bender. Bought four different kinds! Echium gentianoides "Tajinaste", E. pininana var. alba "Snow tower", E. wildpretii (?) and E. "Mr. Happy" (hybrid of Echium wildprettii & E. pininana) if I recall correctly.

I got a Salvia argentea (it's furry!) and a Tanacetum ptarmiciflorum “Silver Lace Bush”, as well as 20 Amaryllis belladonna bulbs... Phew!

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