Blathr Wayne Lorentz

What is Blathr?
Showing blathrs with the tag “Gardening.”

Our of your cotton pickinʼ mind

Saturday, August 26th, 2023 Alive 19,114 days

Cotton plants

One of my local nurseries is selling cotton. Next year, Iʼm totally growing to grow my own pants.

A cotton plant for sale
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You grow fries, they grow you!

Saturday, August 26th, 2023 Alive 19,114 days

The seed display at Home Depot

Today at Home Depot, I was surprised to find that you can buy french fry seeds.

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Does your landlord know about this?

Thursday, June 1st, 2023 Alive 19,028 days

A napping bee

This morningʼs promenade in the garden revealed a sleeping bee and a baby pepper.

A perfectly puny pepper
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Rough patch

Saturday, May 20th, 2023 Alive 19,016 days

The Houston Botanic Garden isnʼt the worldʼs greatest botanic garden. Itʼs probably not even in the top 100. But itʼs less crowded than Hermann Park, and after a long series of misguided “improvements,” it's added a coffee cart, so I keep going.

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Is the poinsettia dead?

Thursday, December 8th, 2022 Alive 18,853 days

Camellias blooming on the balcony

We got a nice little Christmas present today. After a year of doing a whole lot of not very much, the camellia bush is blooming.

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And wrikles, like you

Sunday, November 6th, 2022 Alive 18,821 days

Tina the lizard

Today I got a good look at Tina, the lizard who lives in my garden.

She has blue eyes, like my wife.

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You canʼt even spell New Haven

Saturday, November 5th, 2022 Alive 18,820 days

Guy looking at vines at the nursery: *Grunt*

Me: That one is nice and clingy if you want something that will climb brick.

Guy: You know about ivy?

Me: Just from my days at Harvard.

Guy: You went to Harvard?

Me: Lots. I used to deliver pizzas all over New Haven.

Guy: Walks away

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Warming her cockles

Friday, October 28th, 2022 Alive 18,812 days

Tima the lizard on a light bulb

Itʼs chilly today, so Tina is warming herself on a lightbulb in my garden.

Tina the lizard hugs a lightbulb for warmth
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Brown thumb

Thursday, October 27th, 2022 Alive 18,811 days

A statue of Mary of the Missing Hands in my garden

Autumn is here. Time to replace all the plants in my garden that were killed by the Texas summer.

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Come get some dinner

Thursday, October 27th, 2022 Alive 18,811 days

Tina the lizard in the garden

There is a new visitor to the garden these days. Her name is Tina. Today I saw her leap from a pot onto a flower and eat a fly. Good lizard.

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Sweet potato you got there

Thursday, October 20th, 2022 Alive 18,804 days

An out-of-control potato

A neighbor I’ve never met before knocked on my door tonight and gave me this. She’s moving out, and found it in her refrigerator. She’s admired the garden on my balcony, and thought I might take care of it, since she’s leaving.

Over my wife’s objections, I have put it in a pot with some dirt, and we’ll see what happens when it has sunlight to work with, and not just the dim bulb of a refrigerator.

I can’t imagine what the rest of her refrigerator looks like.

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Common name

Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 Alive 18,802 days

A common buckeye rests on a blue chair in the garden

A butterfly came to visit my garden tonight. Itʼs called a common buckeye, but to me itʼs most uncommon, because I donʼt get very many butterflies.

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Monarchs rule

Saturday, September 3rd, 2022 Alive 18,757 days

Flapper girls gotta flap.
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An idea percolates...

Saturday, September 3rd, 2022 Alive 18,757 days

Today I learned the local nursery sells Arabica plants. The sign says they grow to be eight feet tall, but have to be protected from the cold. Of course, the ceiling in my library is ten feet tall, so maybe...

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Friday, July 1st, 2022 Alive 18,693 days

A rain-dappled leaf in my garden

It rained last night, so this morning, I can be an artsy-fartsy photographer in the garden.

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Saturday, June 25th, 2022 Alive 18,687 days

Yellow flowers sprout from a bush of unknown provenance

This morning, one of the bushes in my garden decided to surprise me with yellow flowers.

Good bush.

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Om nom nom nom

Sunday, June 19th, 2022 Alive 18,681 days

The caterpillar thatʼs been making a meal of my swiss cheese plant

I decided to see why the holes in my Swiss cheese plant are so much larger than they should be, and found this little guy curled up in the garden.

I guess I should squish him or spray him or something. But I think Iʼll just let him have the plant. I can grow another. And the world needs butterflies more than I need yet another plant. Plus, birds gotta eat, too!

I shall call him “Herman.”

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Political posies

Tuesday, March 29th, 2022 Alive 18,599 days

Landscaping at Hermann Square, in front of Houston City Hall

It is said that in Houston, you can plant broomsticks and grow brooms. Itʼs a way of saying that the cityʼs location, geology, and weather are so well-suited to growing plants that if you canʼt grow something, the problem is you.

Thatʼs mostly true, but only if you get enough light. If youʼre in a north-facing apartment, youʼre just as hampered in your growing efforts as someone facing north in Chicago, or Los Angeles.

To grow plants in Houston, you need a lot of sun to counteract all of the excess moisture you have to deal with. That's why under the city's proud canopies of oak trees, the vegetation is usually sparse, or in varying states of decay. If you get dappled sunlight, you might have luck with foxtail ferns, but the important word there is still ”luck.”

A good example is at Houston City Hall, where the mighty oaks spread their branches, bogarting the sunlight and leaving everything underneath to rot. It all looks really bad. But in the sunny spots, you can see the landscapers are doing a great job with the flowers.

Flowers at Houston City Hall
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Tulip service

Saturday, February 26th, 2022 Alive 18,568 days

A Metro light rail train passes red tulips at Main Street Square

There are parts of Houston that are really ugly. But there are also parts that are really pretty, and very often those are places where the city has made an effort to plant flowers.

I wandered through Main Street Square in the rain today, and the flowers are in full bloom.

Flowers at Main Street Square in downtown Houston
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Howʼs the gift shop?

Saturday, February 19th, 2022 Alive 18,561 days

I spent the morning at the tree museum. I think the Houston Botanic Garden will be really nice in ten years or so. Today, it looks a lot like itʼs just barely gotten off the ground. Lots of saplings on bare earth. Bulldozers. Sections cordoned off for construction. Urban hillbillies riding quads over the exhibits.

I became a member last year, but probably wonʼt renew. The benches that were nice for sitting on and looking at nature have been removed. Itʼs doing concerts now, farming for restaurants, and charging unwarranted prices to walk through its Christmas lights display. Even members have to pay, which is very unusual amongst serious musea.

It has a good location, and lots of potential. I suspect that the financial pressures of COVID have caused its leadership to lose its way in the forest.

Plants at the Houston Botanic Garden
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Searching the web

Sunday, October 10th, 2021 Alive 18,429 days

A jumping spider in its web

I woke up to a jumping spider in my garden. I guess theyʼre called that because of the way people jump when they run across one first thing in the morning.

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Itʼs tiny

Monday, September 6th, 2021 Alive 18,395 days

A tiny flower

My tiny moss has made a tiny flower.

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Seed round

Thursday, May 27th, 2021 Alive 18,293 days

A ludicrous sunflower

The two sunflowers Iʼm trying to grow in three-inch terra cotta pots have gone from silly to ludicrous. Oneʼs about four feet tall, the other about three-and-a-half. The seed packet said theyʼd grow to between 12 and 20 feet tall. Theyʼd better get a wiggle on if they want to reach that height before I move.

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Monday, April 19th, 2021 Alive 18,255 days

A sunflower growing in a pot of lavender

A few weeks ago, one of Darcieʼs fleaBay packages arrived with a packet of sunflower seeds in it. So I stuck one in the lavender pot on my desk.

The packet says it should grow between eight and 12 feet tall. What could possibly go wrong?

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Too small for a lei

Saturday, March 27th, 2021 Alive 18,232 days

A cascade of spider plants

The spider plants Iʼm growing in tiki mugs on my kitchen wall have started to bloom.

Also, Iʼm growing spider plants in tiki mugs on my kitchen wall.

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Fashionable upcycling

Wednesday, February 17th, 2021 Alive 18,194 days

A spider plant spider sprouting on a window sill

The Fred Segal stores in Las Vegas closed long ago, but the decorative M&M jars live on as makeshift plant nurseries.

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Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021 Alive 18,180 days

A saintly plant pot

Iʼd like to know who the person was who thought, “People like miniature saint statues, and people like plants. What if we made statues so you could grow plants out of the saintsʼ butts?”

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Canʼt be good at everything

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021 Alive 18,169 days

A few sprouts in a big pot

I'm trying to grow lavender on my windowsill. It's been a month, and this is all I have to show for it.

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Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 Alive 17,458 days

Domo-kun protecting a tiny wheat field

Boss: What is happening at your desk?

Me: Iʼm growing wheat.

Boss: …quickly walks away…

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Sunday, November 18th, 2018 Alive 17,372 days

Colorful succulents

More succulents are turning red and green for the season in the Mary of the Missing Hands That Broke Off In A Sandstorm Memorial Garden and Lizard Hatchery.

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Sunday, November 18th, 2018 Alive 17,372 days

Colorful plants

The plants are turning red and green here at the Silver Pyramid Cactus Ranch and Pretty Good Cat Sanctuary.

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Monday, November 12th, 2018 Alive 17,366 days

The holly and the ivy

My dry cleaner has an entire wall of holly. Hopefully the H.O.A. doesnʼt nail her for decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving.

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Donʼt be a prick

Friday, November 9th, 2018 Alive 17,363 days

The Ethel M Cactus Garden

I wish I could decorate the cacti in my garden like this, but I just donʼt have the gloves for it.

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Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 Alive 17,224 days

Mutant cacti

It doesn't matter where I move my plants in the house, they still do this crazy shit in the direction of Area 51.

Freaking UFOʼs.

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Saturday, June 16th, 2018 Alive 17,217 days

Mutant cacti

If your house plants start doing this, you might live too close to Area 51.

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