Well it’s about time.

Where have you been?

Coincidentally with your absence, I didn’t write. I didn’t want to write.  Or read, except in books with paper pages. And I am queen of this site so for a while that was the rule of the realm. Okay for months and months. I did keep thinking I would get over it, like a cold… And of course I did have a cold, with complications, and then the prescription medication almost killed me. (Augmentin. Do not take Augmentin.)

Oh and there is this orchid plant…

Once upon a time a phalaenopsis orchid in bloom was given to someone and eventually the flowers perished. The plant was offered to me if I wanted to try growing it on. It had been quite a few years since I last killed an orchid plant so sure, I took it home.

After pruning back the flower stalk, then root pruning, dividing (there were two plants) and repotting in special orchid bark (aka bits found on the ground outside), I left the plants in the lush and vibrant autumn greenhouse. One died instantly. The other one grew a new leaf at its base, then started a flower stem at the growth-sprouty place where I had cut the old stalk. (FYI, I documented all this in a very scientific fashion with photographs but I accidentally deleted them so use your imagination for a change.)

When the weather grew cold I moved the orchid inside by the kitchen window to fabulous amenities such as steam rising from the hot water in the sink. And as Weather Goddess I often proclaimed  that an afternoon shower was passing over the jungle at which time I poured warm water all over the plant. So you see it was luxury situation or anyway it grew.

The first flower opened for Thanksgiving, and by Christmas there were two. Here it was in February:

winter orchid blooms

It got me through the deepestness of winter, this plant.

greenhouse and palm in snow

And winter was plenty deep.

Then one early spring afternoon I announced to Mr O, with some drama, “I begin to miss my blog.”

early spring

A day later, with even more drama, Mr O totaled our car.

Honda Insight after crash

He was fine, and the pickup truck who smacked into him was even finer—it is just our sweet little 2001 Honda Insight which was ruined. We were automotively grief-stricken. But the truck driver was insured and with difficulty we replaced our beloved little hybrid vehicle. (Drive defensively.)

Lots of other stuff happened. I won’t bore you and anyway I’ve repressed most of it. The most glorious of gardening seasons has arrived and I am renewed.

Ice Blue clematis

Although there persists a vague and semi-inexplicable memory of having been at sea…

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About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in actual plants, Clematis and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Well it’s about time.

  1. Tim says:

    Welcome back.

  2. I have missed you because you crack me up. I started following your blog for the title and continue for the writing. So just know that somewhere in Portland, Oregon there resides a quirky soul with the same wacky sense of humor you possess. susie@life-change-compost.com. (You might like my recent post about my eggplant.)

    • linniew says:

      Hi Susie
      Aren’t we lucky to live in this garden valley? And there you are in the City of Roses! I love Portland.

      Can’t wait to read about your eggplant. (I’ve grown chickens but never eggplants.)

  3. kininvie says:

    I’m surprised you remember anything at all about the voyage, given how seasick you were.

  4. Hi Linnie Dear. You’re back and totally in your element! I’m so sorry about your vehicular and sinus difficulties. But obviously despite the sundry ups and downs you found yourself to be a superb orchid grower. Who’d a thunk? (Me!) Now did your palm survive and your greenhouse stay upright from the weight of all the snow? And Max? Did he survive the depth of the snow? 🙂

    • linniew says:

      Hi ya Gracie!
      Oh of course the palm marches upward (blooming those weird flowers again) and Max chases the geese from the sky. And the orchid is still in flower!

      Note to world: one of those real books I’ve been reading lately is Gracie’s new work, Grace in the Garden. Get it, take a stemmed glass of a cool white wine (or maybe Izze blackberry?) out to a shady place and have a perfect garden read. Wonderful work as usual Gracie!

  5. I must have the same sickness…or maybe amnesia. Or….welcome back.

  6. Lyn says:

    Hi Linnie (I’m waving from Australia, but it’s probably too far for you to see me). I’ve stopped writing my blog but have started visiting others again (obviously). I’m glad we didn’t lose you, either from dastardly drugs or in the depths of the ocean, because I want to keep reading your blog. So look after yourself, okay?
    Very, very impressed with the orchid, the depth of snow and the clematis.

    • linniew says:

      Lyn! Lovely to read your voice again. I must say I understand about breaks from blogging… I just bought a tiny plant called “Australian Violet” and of course I thought of you!

  7. Oh, Linniew!!! I feared the worst! With only the possibility of ( the sometimes wicked) Kininvie who might have a foggy notion of what could of befallen you, I felt lost! (And truly, who could believe a word of what might come out of of Kininvie anyway?) Here I was with my world shattered by the Fracturing of the Acetabulum, and Linniew seemed lost as well? And then, central Wisconsin was beset with -50 degree (F) temperatures for months, and months, it seemed like the Larger Ice Age had begun! (I think Lake Superior is still partially frozen over!) This has indeed been the Most Brutal of Winters!

    I have been Bringing Out the Dead from the garden on a daily basis. Winter was not kind.

    So glad to hear Max is well and actively herding those pesky geese! Mr. O should watch for those pick-up trucks crossing his path! Not that I am superstitious or anything…

    I love the beautiful blue clematis? Is it by chance ‘Blue Diamond’? Clematis are one of the few genus in my garden which seems relatively unscathed, although I am still looking for Proof of Life with regards to ‘Sweet Autumn’.

    So glad you are back among us and may once again run with delphiniums!

    • linniew says:

      Dear Rachelle,
      I have thought of you often. I love that you continue to enjoy your garden in spite of that miserable injury. I hope you are mending and fast. Your winter seems somehow extra-terrestrial in it’s depth, but I’m certain you would have noticed a change of planet. And even mild western Oregon had temperatures dancing around zero last winter so I guess that’s the new normal.

      The clematis in the image is called Ice Blue although it’s appears more like Ice Pale Lavender. I like it a lot and recommend it for places that need a not so tall vine. It gets morning sun and is doing well. I just planted a Sweet Autumn clematis — I hope yours comes to life again soon.

      You are so wise to question Kininvie’s words except regarding blue poppies about which really he knows everything.

    • kininvie says:

      Dear Rachelle, The truth of it is that Linnie and I eloped for a short time and took a voyage to Brazil (she was seasick, despite her claims) where we enjoyed samba bands and horse-drawn carriages. But now we are back.

      • linniew says:

        Oh Kininvie. I did not take you to be a sail-and-tell sort of person. Personally I will never discuss the trouble you got into with that timbal player.

        • Oh, Evil Kininvie! Sail and tell!!! And what by chance did you do with the Dear Mr. O during the less than fortuitous adventure? And what of Max, certainly he must be the hero of the piece! And the incident with the timbal player? I am surprised it did not land you in some Brazilian jail!

          • linniew says:

            Well our friend K has a few delusional tendencies you see Rachelle. I try to keep him steady but he kind of veers off sometimes and I hesitate to confront his misconceptions too directly for fear of the outcome. As a psychiatrist friend of mine once said (and I have no idea why he said it), “It only takes two doctors to commit.”

            Garden therapy is the best hope–for all of us.

  8. Alberto says:

    Linnie, dear, I’ve got the same sickness too, but yet I can’t get over it. I’m taking care of the garden, maybe it will heal me too.
    I had a ‘silent’ tour of the blog I used to follow constantly, the other day and discovered with disbilief that you quit writing last october. I’ve even sent you an email to check if maybe Mr. O get rid of you, or Tillie get the hold of the house and garden, or maybe just of your computer… And here you are, back as if nothing happened… I’m glad you’re here. I might come back too. If you made it, I can made it too.

    • linniew says:

      Alberto! I am so pleased to hear from you. I would certainly have answered your email but I don’t think it reached me. You and I and Kininvie all kind of wandered away from the blog world last fall– do you suspect a conspiracy? Something in the wine maybe? Tillie is married and gone away so I guess she didn’t do it…

      I think of you when I garden. I have a whole rose bed filling up with that rampant colonizer Tuscany and it’s all your fault. I also think of you when I try to control the box hedges, which I wish I could make into tigers or undulating intricacies but they just continue to be kind of moth-eaten looking regular hedges.

      But yes I agree you should write again, now and then? How about a movie? I will tell you that I am working on a short video featuring coyotes. (Don’t breathe a word about it.)

      Keep in touch.
      hugs, L

    • kininvie says:

      Hi Alberto, good to hear from you. I’m sorry to tell you that I have decided grass gardens don’t suit the Scottish climate. They just turn into moss gardens.

  9. Hurray! And it’s a beautiful orchid. (Not all orchids are beautiful. Some are thoroughly disgusting.) Glad Mr O is ok. Glad your spirits are experiencing a touch of revival. Hope you’ll like your replacement car. (If you have one – do you?)

    • linniew says:

      Warm greetings to you Esther. Thanks for liking the orchid. It is still producing flowers and I do wish it would just rest up so it might flower again in December when there’s more of a bloom shortage around here. Yes we got a car. The same Insight pretty much, which took considerable wandering in Internet-Land to find. At the same time I found a pub table on Craigslist and some antique kitchen bin pulls on Ebay– collateral damage from shopping for the car.

  10. I’m glad you’re back. I was wondering where you were. 🙂 I can’t keep orchids alive except for the silk ones. They’re quite hardy.

    • linniew says:

      Hi Tammy
      I think I’m glad I’m back too. I have had orchid plants linger for years in the past but with no hint of flowers so I am really astonished at this one. I just noticed its starting a new sprout and has added a couple more flower buds. I think it might actually be a mechanical plant–something from the Orchid Division of Apple Computers?

  11. Peter/Outlaw says:

    I’m so glad that you’re back! Sometimes we need to be away and I hope that your world’s topsy turviness is calming down a bit! Looking forward to reading more posts as your time allows!

    • linniew says:

      Peter! Oh I have missed you and everyone. Lovely to hear from you. Yes I am looking forward to more writing. Off to check on you at your blog… 🙂 L

  12. Alistair says:

    Linnie, its so good to see you back, I think there is a deeper story which you may tell us some day. I have a helluva imagination. Well, I thought it was strange that a trio such as, Linnie, Alberto and Kininvie seemed to disappear at the same time. I made up my mind that you were all on tour doing your comedy act together and had no time left for us lesser souls. Just off to see what that other two have been up to. Hope you and your family are all keeping well.

    • linniew says:

      I love your imagination Alistair– kind of a secret weapon in life I think. And what a great thought: going on the road with Alberto and Kininvie, kind of a vaudeville act, living in trains, maybe dropping in at Gatsby’s parties… It suits us so well, I wonder how we continue gardening. Still, I do entertain hope of book tours someday (hope springs etc..), and then I’ll show up at your house when I am in the neighborhood. So nice to have you here again!

  13. mulishandcompany says:

    You were on blog sabbatical, were you? Well, if anyone deserved time away from the tap tap tapping away on the keyboard you did. I hope your time away was well spent and not just recovering from whatever illness took hold.

    This blog world of ours is a little like a soap opera in that you can check out for months and when you come back, not a whole lot has changed. I am looking forward to hearing about your gardening, your stove restoration and day trips with the husband and dog in tow.

    I’ll admit, it’s been a little lonely without you. I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you just how many times I clicked on over here to see if you had posted anything, doubting my RSS feeder. Surely it must have missed your posts, or maybe I had entered your URL incorrectly.

    But no. No Linnie. If I wasn’t careful I’d imagine all sorts of things that might account for your absence – pirates, Tillie, Kininvie, illness, disdain, exhaustion, purpose, ennui, travel, a kidnapping, a book tour . I really didn’t know what to think.

    Thank you, thank you for coming back to us. I missed you. Truly, I did! I missed you. Next time you stay away, please leave a note on the counter. Love, love and love to you.

    • linniew says:

      OH you sweet woman! And as a matter of fact every last thing you imagined did happen. Well except for the book tour. (Damn.) I have thought of you often and am pleased to be back in your creative company ‘berta m’dear. I know that soap opera thing of which you speak and well that’s way too much a characteristic of my life I fear! But I’m older, and my hair is shorter (I keep cutting it, and by “I” I mean “myself” so you can imagine the asymmetry), but still there is so much to experience! Just today I learned how to reupholster a riding lawn mower seat and I bet I’m the only person you know who has done that. Or maybe everyone and his terrier does it, I don’t know, but it was new to me, (and tedious) — at least I got finished before the rain began. The main thing is that I am writing again, which means I am alive again– the blog, various ms., letters– YOU know what I mean. Love and hugs right back to you. L

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