Sunday, September 18, 2016


Beginning with a photo just taken this morning, these are the significant underpinnings for a small bunch of plants or rootings that need repotting and are sitting and waiting, on various shelves, window sill and countertops of my kitchen.

The image appears in a post done earlier today on my Instagram site. Instagram is an institution I've come to love, not only as it affords a chance to say and show things one cares about, but it also enables one to read and see the same from others...many of them far far away geographically but often in tune with and enhancing one's own perceptions of life...images speaking very well among human beings!  On Instagram, I am @aksellon 

Words that accompanied this photo:

"I just bought some of my favorite marbles from Jordi's, the toy shop in Guilford...for repotting plants. I usually put them at the bottom of the soil in any pot without a drainage hole. You will see that they are all the clear type with a strand of color running through...I like their waterlike quality for the plant's roots to be near. When I got home with the tiny paper bag, I wanted to soak them a little bit in hot water before using and looked for a small bowl to put them in...this is the bowl I found, and note how there was just enough room in the bowl for the number of marbles I had bought! Apropos of washing the marbles, have always washed any flowerpot am going to re-use as well as any implements (scoops, plastic knives, etc.), anything that comes in contact with the roots, as heard once on Channel 13, said by their then gardening expert, a sort of Julia Child of houseplants, that one should even sterilize used terra cotta pots by putting them in the oven briefly, to kill off any fungi/plant diseases...will look up and find her name and supply it here up ahead."

I tried to find the name of that British gardener who had a regular show on Channel 13 during the Julia Child era, but wasn't able...however, I did find lots of information about my favorite gardening writer from the New York Times, Anne Raver. Below is a tiny excerpt the Times had in their listings of all her columns (many of which I saved over the years, clippings in my own "archives." ) Note that each of the Times' listings of her columns has a small paragraph like this below, or a caption, that you can click on and then read the whole article...there are lovely photos as well, but just the range of things she wrote about is marvelous. Here's the paragraph, which one can find in the New York Times archives and then read the whole column.

The Wisdom of the Trees
It was a chilly gray day when I left the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street and headed west on 42d against the wind. Usually under such circumstances, you keep your head down, but the trees pulled mine up. You can't help but look at those London plane trees, as you walk by Bryant Park. they, too, lean forward - all 200 of them - like rugged New Yorkers bending into the wind."
March 15, 1992

This, the first paragraph of that column, appears among the Times' listing of her articles from the 90s through 2015.  This was from March of 1992, when I was still in New York, and I think I must have saved this one, among many others!

The link to Anne Raver's "In The Garden" columns in the New York Times:

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