Climbing Okra in August

I searched for my old “Climbing okra” seeds to grow some again for one of my readers.

It has many other names such as Chinese okra, Egyptian cucumber and Vietnamese luffa.

Its scientific name is Luffa acutangula.

Yesterday evening, I noticed the blooms.

They do almost glow in the dark.

Bumble bees were busy zooming from bloom to bloom.

They were moving so fast that I could barely get a photo.

There are some tiny fruits, too.

I need to wait outside at dusk and see if the moths come like last time.

Thank you, Curtis Wilkinson,  for prompting me to grow these again.

I am not sure how long these old seeds would have stayed viable.

I mailed out some seeds to other readers. I hope that yours have grown as well.

Hopefully these little okra/luffas will produce some more seeds for me.

Luffa acutangula, climbing okra fruit


A Place with a Presence

Earlier this week, I spent hours walking the streets of Lynchburg, Virginia

and taking hundreds of photographs of historic houses, churches and gardens.

I was stopped in my tracks by this particular house.

What made me pause and put down my camera?

Why did I feel the need to sit down and then circle this property?

Did it remind me of someone’s home in my childhood years?

Was there some architectural aspect that seemed familiar?

Its facade does vaguely resemble the Moses Cone Manor in Blowing Rock, North Carolina.

Did it remind me of  another mansion or plantation that I have previously photographed?

I tried to recall, but nothing came to me.

Still.  Here I was standing here.  Stalking an empty house in a strange city.

A middle-aged woman in sensible shoes and flowered pants lugging a camera.

(I was trending, not blending.)

This has happened before.  I refer to it as a presence.

The air is thicker, everything slows, there is a peaceful pause in time.

Was it the spirit of one of the Langhornes?

Something pulled me and held me there.

I wanted to stay, but a dog barked and broke the spell.

I moved on to wander and wonder.

FLOW on the GO



I have spent some time out of my comfort zone this week.

FLOW has been schooled, but not fooled.

I have tried numerous times to share a bit of information

that may be of use to the USA.

Like a good citizen.

These exchanges could have been mutually beneficial, but weren’t.

The first young woman kept sending me in circles and telling me to do things that I had all ready tried.

Tell me Melish, was it my age or my accent that lead you to believe that I could not use the internet as well as you?

I finally had to inform Melish that the office she kept recommending had been closed since February of 2015.

Then there was Jo.  I guess I had consumed more coffee than she yesterday morning.

She interrupted me to let me know that I did not have to spell everything for her.

I was not using the NATO Phonetic Spelling just the regular alphabet.

What a Charlie Foxtrot!

I think it would be more likely to get help from an alien force.

If you comment on this post, do not expect a quick response.

I will be outside building a signal fire and arranging glow in the dark rocks to spell out

Sierra Oscar Sierra


Chihuly Chandeliers

I won’t be a spoiler by sharing all two thousand or so photos,

but I will share what I almost missed by not looking up.

I also almost did not return again after dark

because I thought they would look the same.

This would be display number 13 in the Conservatory.

Burnished Amber, Citron and Teal Chandeliers, 2017.

The supposedly unlucky number for the rest of us.

My daughter Rose’s lucky number and birth day.

Maybe having my head tilted back made me dizzy

or was I dazzled beyond normal consciousness?

Do not overlook (or under-look) number thirteen.

It’s a doozie!



I have seen too much in the past days.

My thoughts are swirling.

I peeked out from behind my veil of privilege, isolation and ignorance

to see things strange, foreign and other-worldly in my midst.

I am baffled by my blindness.

I do not know where this will take me,

but I will go.

I must.


Mere Mortals with Magic

I have been fortunate to spend the past few days in the midst of magic.

I was in the presence of the work of two creative minds in the same location

on the night of a full moon.


I am amazed that both my head and heart did not explode from the beauty and joy.

I was on the grounds of Biltmore Estate in Asheville.

This is the castle created by George Vanderbilt.


On display throughout the grounds and inside the palace

were the dazzling glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly.


Their magical spirits created mind-boggling beauty.

I am so grateful when mortals are given a glimmer of higher power


to share with the rest of us,

as Prometheus shared the flame

to enlighten and inspire

a mere mortal like me.



Wrong Turns

I work very hard to be a good vine parent.

I plant them in good soil.  I put them in the proper amount of light.

I feed them. I water them. I support them.

I guide their growth.


But I cannot grow for them.

The reason I love vines is their optimism.

They reach up and out and grow with faith.

I envy that.

But sometimes they take a wrong turn.


They grow in the wrong direction.  Somewhere the sun can’t find them.

I try to guide them back.  But sometimes it can’t be done. They are too high, too far gone.

This creeping fig has grown around and around under this stoneshroom cap.


At first it was cute. I let things progress.

But now it is too late to change its path.

It is clinging to it and will have to be ripped off to get out unless…

I remove the cap and let it cling to this old wrong turn as it reaches up unhindered.


My daughter is a vine.

God bless us both.



A Life Saver

I am fascinated by unusual plants.

Sometimes I buy them because I have doubts that they are real…

like Sea Monkeys.

Well here is one that has proved itself to be real.

This Life Saver plant has finally made a bloom.

For two years it has done nothing but sling little pieces of itself out of the pot like a self-purging cloner.

Finally it has a bloom.

The bloom looks just like the pictures.

Huernia zebrina Life Saver Plant

Yes.   It does look like there is a life saver candy in the middle.

Huernia zebrina, I believe!





Get Your Ghetto On!

Why wait to get just the right garden accessory when a piece of trash will do the trick?

Blown glass watering balls with broken stems on the tops of plant stakes to prevent impalement.

I feel sorry for folks who have HOA’s (Home Owner Associations) dictating what is allowed in their yard.

Squiggly plant stake as a handrail beside the step. Nice and sturdy!  Not code though.

Out here in the middle of nowhere, we can slap up any implement in our yards.

Plant support rings hung up for a trellis extension. Vines growing through hoops.  

I feel sorry for folks of suburbia, all stifled by rules of respectability and what-not.

Chop sticks protect passers-by from the mean cactus.

I love my ghetto garden.  Anything goes.

No dog? No problem. This dish is perfect to hold extra water for this thirsty vine.

Reuse and recycle.   Go Ghetto!  (No offense.)

Go with the FLOW