Monday, April 26, 2010

My New 'Baby'

This is the info that I found on the internet for the Japanese hardy orchid I bought on Saturday. I sure hope they are right and it is easy to grow. At $18. it was a splurge for me!

Calanthe sieboldii
Calanthe sieboldii: Japanese name is KI-EBINE (= yellow EBINE) and it is the second most common species after Calanthe discolor in Japan. Blooming season is May-June and it has yellow flowers. The height is 25-50 cm, bigger than Calanthe discolor. This plant is found under deciduous trees in the Southern part of Japan (mainly in Kyushu and Shikoku). It is less hardy than Calanthe discolor.
Growing Tips: prefer drained soil like a mixture of leaf mold and pumice but you can also grow it in usual soil; loves a sunny place in winter-spring and half-shade place in summer; less hardy than Calanthe discolor; easy to grow.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Blooms of April

April has been full, blooming full. Spring in Seattle is over the top, crazy with color. Yesterday was windy and as I drove through the Green Lake area, pink petals blew like snow across my windshield and filled the street's gutters. The Arboretum had it's aptly named Florabundance sale and I exercised my restraint than usual. I bought a few coleus, 3 Ilex Crenata (Sky Pencil) which are only 8 inches high right now but someday I hope they make a hedge to shut off the view of the neighbor's waste cans. My big splurge was a Japaneses woodland orchid (yellow). I never thought I would say I am running out of space, but I am, especially sunny space, and that I am reserving for more vegetables this year. So what is in the ground so far? Tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, and sunflowers.

Endings and Beginnings

Never has a March looked so different for us. On March 16th, Chris' dad, Eben Goethe passed away at age 86. Over the last dozen years we had watched as first his athletic passions, and eventually the most ordinary of activities such as getting out of a chair were painful and challenging as he suffered with Inclusion Body Myositus . As is said for so many people: "He is certainly in a better place now." Death is final and grieving is complicated. While we shared memories of Eb's frugal ways and the athletic pursuits of his younger years we also strengthened bonds with Chris' cousins and Aunt Lois. We went on long walks, had many meals together, played games and talked for hours. I returned to GB ten days later to spend Spring break in Green Bay and I helped my mother in law clean closets and tried my best, but with very little luck, to introduce her to the internet and the joys of email. June and Eb had been married 63 years. As we cleaned Eb's office I lifted a box of old photos from the top shelf in a closet. I saw pictures of their first house where June's mother in law had demanded that June get a cow to keep in the back yard (which at the time was more pasture than yard). The mother in law seemed to have the idea that a bucolic lifestyle with fresh milk on the table would be good for her daughter in law. June said that she let her MIL know, in very straight forward terms, that she was NOT going to be raising a cow and did her MIL know how cows were induced to make milk? June is petite, but she is good with words and I can just imagine her holding her own against a bossy mother in law. I wonder what Eben thought of that. I'll bet he laughed. I'll bet it was her quick wit as well as her shapely legs that drew him to June.

Eben F. Goethe, 86, Green Bay, died Tuesday morning, March 16, 2010.

He was born on March 4, 1924 in Brown County to the late Leonard and Pearl (Armstrong) Goethe. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1943 to 1945, during World War II and attended UW-Madison and St. Louis University. On Feb. 6, 1947, he married the former Margery “June” Young in St. Louis, MO. Prior to retirement, Eben was employed by Fort Howard Paper for 38 years and was a commercial real estate broker and land developer. He was an active member of Pilgrim Congregational Church and a member of Washington Lodge #21, Free & Accepted Masons.

Even at a young age, Eben was an active person, having been awarded the Order of the Arrow by the Boy Scouts and later becoming a Sea Scout. He enjoyed duck hunting, skeet and trap shooting, golf and was particularly enthusiastic about skiing. He had many dear friends over the years and will be greatly missed.