Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another Ride on the Merry-go-round

Alstroemeria flowers ready for new life in the compost heap.

April 21

As I cleared the breakfast things and began straightening up, I decided to put the Easter tulips outdoors for planting later. I tapped off the few remaining flower petals and added them to the compost container along with some beautiful pink Alstroemeria flowers past their prime and beginning to strew themselves on the floor ~ like confetti.

I thought about the refuse meeting up in the compost – another kind of union – totally nondiscriminatory, diverse – a rich marriage of flower petals, banana peels, melon rinds, tea leaves and coffee grounds – strawberry tops and grapevine, with a few egg shells for muscle: entwining, binding, emerging in an alchemical miracle of new life forms – another ride on the merry-go-round. Meditation on where the beautiful black gold might end up could be an infinite list …but I have to do the dishes.

September 19
Further thoughts on the matter…

When I checked the spelling of Alstroemeria (to transcribe Journal to blog) I couldn’t resist reading more in Wikipedia. The lovely plant is also called Peruvian Lily and Lily of the Incas. How exotic, what increased status they’ll now enjoy as I cut the long stems to make a bushier bouquet in my rotund turquoise vase. Bill brings them home from the supermarket, usually choosing a color in the pink range that I love and of which I never tire, although one would think I’d be bored to tears with them by now. They have a vase life of two weeks! ( "life" being loosely defined as one can see in the photo above)

But just think …they have a long lineage and the distinct morphology of being resupinate. (Well ok, I had a little time on my hands, so here‘s the scoop):

The genus was named for the Swedish baron Clas Alströmer (Claus von Alstroemer 1736 - 1794) by his close friend Carolus Linnaeus. The plant's seeds were among many collected by Alströmer on a trip to South America in 1753.
Perhaps the most fascinating- and telltale- morphological trait of Alstroemeria and its relatives is the fact that the leaves are resupinate, that is, they twist from the base so that what appears to be the upper leaf surface is in fact the lower leaf surface.
I would, of course, love to write an essay on that topic alone. Isn’t it what we read in the newspapers and hear on the news day after day after day …but I have to do the dishes.

Hidden Hollow Journal
~ essays and poetry from a garden ~

~ Next Excerpt ~
April 30

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