No Green Thumb Here…

Nature simply is. She gives and keeps on giving. All She asks for in return is respect.

Somehow I got stuck in the wrong line when they were passing out green thumbs and I ended up with two brown ones. Brown is very nice color in quite a few instances (chocolate comes to mind), but decidedly not when it comes to plants and the like. Usually the opposite in fact, yes? Brown is generally the color of plants when they’re on their journey to the other side.

I’m in good company. My soul sister is also a confirmed brown thumb. Without any sort of devastating sense of failure, I am content with my brown thumb status simply because there are an abundance of wildflowers, parks, trails, and other people’s gardens that I can enjoy.

From the garden of one of my long suffering neighbors. They all now seem to understand that there is no way to get rid of the loony lady with the camera.

From the garden of one of my long suffering neighbors. Though they all (finally!) seem to understand that there is no way to get rid of the loony lady with the camera.

Wildflowers from the hills near our home.

Wildflowers from the hills near our home.

She looks like she's licking her chops to me. Do flowers even have chops? In my world, anything is possible.

She looks like she’s licking her chops to me. Do flowers even have chops? In my world, anything is possible.

Where can you get that shade of delicate pink? As far as I know, only nature can do it.

It's a bit of a green tangled, but nature does it with such grace.

It’s a bit of a green tangle, but they do it with such grace.

There she was in all her tiny gloriousness flourishing away in an empty lot I stumbled upon.

I spotted this fine lady growing in a small garden alongside a gas station. Pretty cool that someone took the time to plant her there.

Another find in a field. I had trouble getting them to sit still for me, but all the same, aren’t they sweet?

Crooked Elf

 There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.

He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.

He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,

And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

~ English Nursery Rhyme, There was a Crooked Man 

There once was a Crooked Elf who went by the name Kwissp E. Ceen. Not crooked in mind or deed, but in the spirit of the Bent, Slightly Twisted and Extremely Strange. He enjoyed many activities: walking crooked miles; finding crooked pennies to spend on smooshed glazed doughnuts or other irregular sweets; cataloging, archiving, and photographing all things crooked, bizarre and outlandish; getting lost in gardens and hothouses; and most especially playing hide-and-go-seek with his honorable friend, the most crooked and fluffy cat, Mimsy Poole.

Being a great appreciator of gardens, of course Kwissp tended to get lost in them. While rambling down some road or another he’d come across someone’s garden or hothouse and would be so enchanted by the sights and scents that he’d forget everything else. It always fell to Mimsy to find and bring him back home in order that he could get her supper and on occasion, a bit of catnap. This arrangement suited both of them. On one such day of rambles, Kwissp happened upon the garden belonging to Quentin the Vampire Botanist. And of course, he had never seen the like!

Magnificent flowers burst out of the ground in such a variety and a multitude of colors that Kwissp eyes crossed with delight. And what interesting flowers these were! Many of them had tiny vampire teeth or tiny vampire claws and some had both. How completely unexpected! How wonderfully, amazingly peculiar! And oh! He spotted a large conservatory. Imagine what might be growing in there! Like cream to pudding, he found himself deliciously drawn to the structure. Though he knew it was horribly impolite, he couldn’t help pressing his face to the glass and peering inside. Luckily Mimsy came to his rescue, for although she did share Kwissp’s admiration for gardens (what better place to take a well-deserved nap than under a lavender bush?), she couldn’t bear to see such an egregious breach of courtesy. Doing her cat best (which is infinitely better than a human’s), she urged him to knock on the owner’s door and gain permission to photograph, document, and classify each wondrous flora.

This could have turned out badly and may have even been the end of Kwissp. Quentin isn’t a social vampire, by any means. At best, he’s a recluse. At worse? Well, at worst let’s just say one should count themselves lucky indeed should they manage to even crawl away (with most body parts intact) from an encounter with Quentin. The only company he enjoys is that of his plants. Anyone or anything else is merely a nuisance…or lunch. Most fortunate for our crooked elf friend, it turned out that Quentin took a liking to him. This might be explained by their mutual affection and respect for plants. However, it didn’t hurt that the elf’s complexion was green as the leaves on the medicinal herb Groomwell. This could also mean that the Vampire Botanist may have devious (are there any other kind?) plans for Kwissp’s future.

I met Kwissp while sitting on a bench daydreaming in Quentin’s garden (I too, am allowed entry. Long story). He startled (nearly) the life out of me popping his little green face out of the orange, pink and golden tangle of some licorice vines (a new experiment of Quentin’s and exceptionally pretty). After I managed to get my heart out of my throat and back into my chest where it belongs, I asked if he minded that I sketch him. “Not a problem,” he says, “just so long as I can continue documenting these plants.” Since this bothered me not in the least, I sketched away. I think I captured his creepily soulful eyes quite well.