Friday, October 30, 2009

Chicken of the Woods Sighting!

While taking an afternoon walk around my neighborhood yesterday I stumbled across something that made my heart stop.  Could it really be Chicken of the Woods?  I felt like I was seeing a ghost. 

Some of my fondest memories are of hunting for Chicken of the Woods in the small forest surrounding Mrs. Bemis' (an estate about 20 minutes from St. Paul, MN - we took care of her many gardens).  After eating lunch by the pond, we would take leisurely walks through the woods, climb over and under chopped logs, and scan the towering oaks in search of these treasured mushrooms.  Spotting Chicken of the Woods was difficult because their orange/gold color blended so well with fallen leaves.  If we were lucky and the conditions were right, we would be able to bring home some nice chunks and fry them in butter to eat with friends. 

I had no idea this magnificent mushroom existed in California - let alone Los Angeles - let alone in my own neighborhood!  After doing a bit of research I discovered the mushroom I found growing from a carob tree on my walk is called Laetiporus gilbertsonii while the mushroom I found growing from oak trees at Mrs. Bemis' is called Laetiporus sulphureus.  Two different species - same common name.  Did I take any chunks off this mushroom jackpot to fry up and share with friends?  No, I wasn't 100% certain it was the same Chicken of the Woods I knew and it looked a little too old to eat anyway.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Purple Brussels Sprouts - A Transformative Tale

Last fall I planted this Purple Brussels Sprout with high hopes for piles and piles of Purple Brussels Sprouts.  The plant barely grew and I got no sprouts.  Over the course of winter, spring, and summer the plant grew considerably then, in August, it tipped over!  What little hope I had left sort of crumbled at that point - but then something amazing happened.  Along the entire length of the fallen stem new Brussels Sprouts stems shot up healthy and robust!  Now I have a miniature forest of Brussels Sprouts and (fingers crossed) I will see and eat my piles and piles of Purple Brussels Sprouts this winter.  Yes!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Garden Bugs

Stink Bug Nymphs!
Not only do they actually exist but I have them in my garden. 
They are eating my tomatoes as I write this.
Son of a Stink Bug!

Friday, October 23, 2009

More is More and More and More and More!

I just found out (from the LA Times - same place I got that photo above) about the new book on Tony Duquette by Hutton Wilkinson called "More is More". 
I'll say!
Wilkinson's last book on Duquette, simply titled "Tony Duquette", is an amazing collection of photos of Duquette's interiors, gardens, stage designs, costumes, jewlery, - you name it!  According to the LA Times, the new book should be a great companion piece because it focuses on Duquette's process. 
Well, I'm a sucker for process and I can't wait to get my hands on this book!
More Duquette, more, more, more!
(See my January 26 post for more on Duquette)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn Arrangement

Inspired by little Laura Ingalls (aka Half-Pint) in Little House in the Big Woods, I created this seasonal arrangement.
Wanting a rag doll but limited by resources, Laura creates a doll from a corn cob, wraps her in a little blanket, and showers her with love and affection. Laura fears Susan (the name she gave her doll - not to be confused with Black Susan, the name of her cat) will be hurt by the attention given to Mary's authentic rag doll so whenever Laura holds Mary's doll Susan must always face the other way. Charming.
My corn cobs represent Slim and I relaxing in an outdoor hot tub watching autumn leaves fall on a cool October afternoon while drinking red wine.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tiniest Little Green Roofs

Those Brooklyn public artists have done it again! They've stolen my heart with yet another charming idea - the tiniest green roof. Every inch counts!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bed-Stuy Meadow

Great idea from the folks over in Bedford-Stuyvesant. An urban meadow covering every available space across the whole neighborhood. Check out their website to find out more.