Gratitude Bestows Reverence

November 24, 2016

Succulents, Center for Urban Horticulture gardens

Succulents, Center for Urban Horticulture gardens

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”
— John Milton

I am grateful for family and friends, art and nature, books and writers, and for each day.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Ed and Mary Epps' backyard garden

Ed and Mary Epps’ backyard garden

Sunday’s “Let’s Sketch Bay View” gave a few of us the added pleasure of a mini-garden tour by Ed Epps.  He and Mary have garden plots on all sides of their home, with plenty of places to pause and enjoy the variety of colors, patterns, and natural forms.

Rarely have I seen such exuberant variety in a garden.  Ed seems drawn to all manner of flowers and plants — from the odd voodoo lily, to the uniquely colored chrysanthemum ‘bright eyes,’ or to the more traditional sweet peas and poppies.  Something lovely is always in bloom, and each plant is worthy of joyful attention.

Desicated bloom of weird voodoo lily

Desiccated bloom of weird voodoo lily

Chrysanthemum 'bright eyes'

Chrysanthemum ‘bright eyes’

Sweet peas

Sweet peas

Poppies

Poppies

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Ed and Mary’s garden exhibits all manner of things done well, but surpassing all is the celebration of foliage.  The foliage provides its own beauty in the variety of colors, textures, and structures it displays.  I was particularly taken with the jagged-leaf melianthus, whose early leafings are folded like intricate origami (another of Ed’s interests), and whose mature leaves bring intriguing spikiness to the garden beds.

Melianthus leaves, folded like a miniature origami fan

Melianthus leaves, folded like a miniature origami fan

Melianthus

Melianthus

Melianthus

Melianthus

The spiral of the rex begonia escargot

The spiral of the rex begonia escargot

The under leaf of the rex begonia escargot

The under leaf of the rex begonia escargot

Succulents

Succulents

I was also most impressed with the many ways Ed incorporated chocolate browns, deep dark purples, and (almost) blacks into the foliage and flowers of the garden.  It made me wonder if a chocolate garden, similar to Vita Sackville-West’s white garden, could be executed in an exciting way.  I imagine cafe au lait dahlias and black leaf dahlias combined with  . . . what else?  Ed would be the one to pull this off, I’m sure.

Black leaf dahlia with yellow bloom

Black leaf dahlia with yellow bloom

Thank you again, Ed and Mary, for opening your private gardens for the participants of Sunday’s “Let’s Sketch Bay View.”

 

 

 

 

Crescent on top of mosque in Kafa Kama

Crescent on top of mosque in Kafr Kama

Striped minaret, Kafa Kama

Striped minaret, Kafr Kama

One of the small villages near my sister’s kibbutz is the Circassian community, Kafr Kama.  My nieces go there to get their hair cut, and Audrey and Alberto like to buy their soft, round cheese from a local cheesemaker there.

Strainers ready for the next batch of cheese

Strainers ready for the next batch of cheese

Fresh, hand-crafted cheese, Kafa Kama

Fresh, hand-crafted cheese, Kafr Kama

My visit to Kafr Kama was one of the highlights of my Israel stay because it was so picturesque and full of culture.  This village has an interesting history.  It is home to the Circassians, an exiled group of Sunni Muslims from the Caucasus Mountains.  They were expelled from their homeland in 1864 after fighting the Russian czar.  According to the Circassian Heritage Center in Kafr Kama, “The Circassians were accepted by the Ottoman Empire and were settled all over the Middle East, including Israel, and today there are about 4000 Circassian in two villages in the north of Israel . . .”

The homes in Kafr Kama are built with the regions’s dark basalt rock rather than the more typical adobe-colored materials.  I was charmed by the rustic, rusted grillwork and weathered doors.  The homes, while old, were tidy with well-kept gardens.  The women wore pristine white headscarves.  It was a very picturesque place.

Resident of Kafa Kama

Resident of Kafr Kama

Blue double door with fancy grillwork

Blue double door with fancy grillwork

Minaret viewed through grill

Minaret viewed through grill

Circassian symbol on metal door

Circassian symbol on metal door

Circassian symbol on window of parked truck

Circassian symbol on window of parked truck

Another blue door

Another blue door

Detail, door

Detail, door

Succulents on a colorful porch

Succulents on a colorful porch

Traling succulents on a balcony

Trailing succulents on a balcony

Stone building with weathered shutters

Stone building with weathered shutters

Woman, Kafa Kama

Woman, Kafr Kama

Rustic door

Rustic door

Flower pot in a window

Flower pot in a window

Rusted grillwork

Rusted grillwork

Cloths drying in the sun

Cloths drying in the sun

Woman on the streets of Kafa Kama

Woman on the streets of Kafr Kama

Coke for sale, Kafa Kama

Coca Cola for sale, Kafr Kama

Blue doors

Blue doors.  Doesn’t this just shout out Mediterranean to you?

Holiday Open House at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

Holiday Open House at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

The warehouse at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market was awash with holly, greens, and festive floral arrangements for its Holiday Open House this week.  Here are a few photos of some truly inspiring holiday decorations.  Please do try this at home with gleanings from your winter gardens, woods, and trails.

Wreath of densely packed succulents

Wreath of densely packed succulents

The moss softens the texture of this twiggy wreath from Oregon's Best Specialty Growers

The moss softens the texture of this twiggy wreath from Oregon’s Best Specialty Growers

Vintage Santa and holly from J Foss Garden Flowers

Vintage Santa and holly from J Foss Garden Flowers

More woodsy wreaths from Oregon's Best Specialty Growers

More woodsy wreaths from Oregon’s Best Specialty Growers

Garland from scabiosa pods, J Foss Garden Flowers

Garland from scabiosa pods, J Foss Garden Flowers

These potted succulents reminded me of a box of living ornaments

These potted succulents reminded me of a box of living ornaments

More vintage trimmings at J Foss Garden Flowers

More vintage trimmings at J Foss Garden Flowers

Orchids in a white bucket

Orchids in a white bucket

Books for sale -- The 50-Mile Bouquet

Books for sale — The 50-Mile Bouquet

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and twinkling lights

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and colored lights