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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Luddite's Last Stand

I once had a cell phone several years ago (long story but I got it by default, not by choice.)  but so seldom used it that I had it disconnected.  Really, why pay a monthly fee for nothing?  Instead, I was proud of my Luddite status and looked disparagingly on those whose heads were constantly buried in their hand-held virtual world while oblivious to the beauty in the real one  all around them.  Those who speak aloud to the air while shopping at the grocery store who don't take time to smile at the workers or nod to fellow shoppers seem to be missing out on a lot of human interaction.   Perhaps it was cheating when I made use of the navigation capability on someone else's phone or had them look things up for me at nurseries.  Anyway, I was perfectly happy being disconnected from things most of the time.  It seems like the person whose phone I'd use, or rather had him use because I was clueless about the whole thing, must have gotten tired of  my habit of depending on his phone because he gave me one of my own.  Yes it's true,  the last person on the planet without a Borg implant in his hand, now has a cellular device.   Resistance was futile.

To see how this thing works, it went with me on a recent visit to Jungle Fever.  Here then are my first ever pictures taken with a phone.  Next we'll learn how to open cans with a coffee pot.

You can read posts about Jungle Fever here, here,  and here.  On this trip, because the parking lot was full,  we parked by the house and were walking by the back yard towards the nursery when Jerry, the owner of Jungle Fever,  greeted us from his personal garden and invited us to come in.  I'd been in Jerry's garden before and seen his brugmansia sanguinea which has come back for him and bloomed each year.  It's in a very sheltered spot but I'm still amazed at its hardiness, even during the phormium killing winters.   Also very interesting was his variegated Trachycarpus fortunei.  Did I think to photograph either of those?  Of course not.  Here are some  other cool things in Jerry's garden though.
 
The bark of this eucalyptus is so attractive!


Cacti thriving in a raised bed with excellent drainage. 



Who wouldn't love this gorgeous bark?  The cell phone wasn't wanting to focus on the small branches with the bark peeling off in little curls.  Oh well.

While the front of the garden is full of xeric plants, the side garden transitions to the oasis in the back garden.  There are many palms, thick bamboo a loquat, and lots of other wonderful evergreen plants that surround this area. While it may not look like it, most of what you're seeing is a huge pond.  right now, the plants are so full and lush, and what surface that might have been visible is covered with floating plants.  The sound of gently cascading water and  adds to the tranquil feeling of the space.

I was shocked to see this citrus tree in the ground happily producing fruit.  The tree was quite large and has obviously been there for years.  Jerry told me what this is but I didn't make a note of it on the fancy phone. I'm encouraged to try growing one myself  for the fragrance of the blooms if nothing else. Surprisingly, the interweb says that  some citrus are hardy to 10 degrees. 







Grevillea victoriae getting ready to bloom all winter.  What's not to love about this plant?
 Puya.

Finally, here are some shots of sarracenias at the nursery.  Carniverious plants are an interesting bunch and these are looking especially beautiful.  I've a large pot of them that thrives atop my compost bin.

Yum!


Because there are already a lot of these in my garden, I resisted the temptation to get more.  Somehow  Mitraria coccinea,  Carex 'Rekohu Sunrise', Acacia dealbata, and Callistemon pallidus 'Eleanor' found their way into my car. 

I'm still learning things about the new gadget but it's pretty amazing what it can do.  While I still don't quite understand twitter, I've got an account where my blog feeds so with this post, I'll have tweeted thrice. You may also notice that there's a gadget which will allow you to follow me on twitter, whatever that means.  What is the world coming to?  

44 comments:

  1. I must visit this place...I fear I may need one of those cell things !

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    1. It's a wonderful place and has way cool plants especially in the summer!

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  2. WooHoo! Welcome to the digital age! Get my number from Tom (it should still be in the records on his phone since I've called his number a couple of times), and send me a text with your new cell number. You've already tweeted more times than I have. Maybe next year we can both go to the NWFGS tweet-up, although I think it's usually very early in the morning. You can get to Twitter on the computer too, which is what I use. Now you'll have to explore Instagram too. (I'm not there yet).

    I love that deep magenta Sarracenia from Jungle Fever. You have to find out what that citrus is, cause I want one! Gotta get back there to check out the plants.

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    1. Oh yes, the tweet-up would be a blast! I'll follow your directions & text you with the number. Twitter on he computer you say? I'll have to figure that out.

      This is a great time of the year for a visit to Jungle fever!

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    2. Just talked with Jerry. The citrus in the picture is Citrumelo hardy to five degrees F. He also has in his garden a Yuzu that's hardy to ten degrees F. Found some sources online so this might be something to order for next year!

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  3. Congratulations! Although I have to agree with your point about people always on the phone. The ones in checkout at the grocery store just send me. How rude!

    Fun visit to Jungle Fever, that Puya is fabulous!

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    1. Thank you! This will make it much easier for us to find each other at the NWFGS! While the cups and string worked pretty well, folks seemed to be unhappy about tripping over the tangle of string.

      There were lots of dangerous plants there!

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  4. We are kindred souls, you and I. I'm still holding out though! These days the most shocking thing you can say to another person is "I have no cell phone".

    Love your blog!

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    1. You're right, when you tell people that you haven't a cell phone, they look at you strangely. I still know folks without devices and could easily go back. It's pretty seductive to have a little computer with you wherever you go. No need to memorize anything any more as thinking is now being outsourced. Wonder what we'll do with the ten percent of our brains that we used to use? Who's this we, I haven't used my brain in years!

      Thanks! Glad you like my blog.

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  5. Your phone camera pics are better early attempts than any of mine. Agreed on all the impersonal actions of many with phones. Luddites rule when it comes to manners towards others!

    Nice garden visit. Citrus up there is a surprise to me, but some great branches even if blurry, and that globe sculpture! Cactus and bamboo, palms, etc...be still my beating heart! Someone is having fun with great plants, not holding back with undue caution. More!

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    1. The phone camera will take some getting used to. I prefer the DSLR because I know how to use it.

      Had to think for a minute when I saw dryheatblog. Glad that you're settling in and have started fresh in a new place/new blog!

      Jerry has been pushing the hardiness envelope and challenging our perceptions of what we think shouldn't be hardy here for almost 20 years now. I see his influence in gardens all over town including my own. His garden is a wonderful and luckily, much of it can be seen from the sidewalks around his house.

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  6. Do you have an unusual plants.

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    1. Yes, this garden has many unusual plants!

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  7. Wouldn't have noticed a difference with camera vs. phone quality until you pointed it out. Love those sarracenias as a collection. Have always appreciated the eucalyptus bark especially on the classic ghost gum.

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    1. So many wonderful plants to gawk at in Jerry's garden! Thanks for commenting Patrick as I was able to find your blog. Interesting stuff!

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  8. What a fantastic garden, he has some amazing plants. Give hardy citrus a try, my lemonquat has survived down to 15F just a few months after it was planted. It froze to the ground and now three years later it is producing tasty fruit.

    From no phone to smart phone is quite a leap. Very nice photos with the new device too. I reverted to a basic phone with basic service when we retired and enjoy being disconnected.

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    1. Jerry's garden always inspires and is full of surprises. Every time I visit, I see something different. Definitely will try hardy citrus if it came back that well for you!

      I like your idea of being disconnected. The device is a novelty and I'm sure it'll come in handy at times.

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  9. Great shots with the phone, pretty soon you will be one of those who talk to the air.

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    1. Oh Karen, I already talk to the air but that's due either to my questionable mental health or to the fact that I'm getting older. The phone might make it a little more socially acceptable.

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  10. I have figured out that I acquire new digital technology based on the Kay Lag Factor - that is, I get it a year or two after the every single person in high school has one. Not quite a Luddite, just a laggard. And 10 degrees for citrus? Does that mean I can start planning my orange grove? Although, actually, it gets a lot colder than 10 around here sometimes.

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    1. Laggard is a delightful title! I'm thinking that the Chicago area might get a slight bit cooler than an orange grove might like. Just guessing.

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  11. At least you got your phone for the right reason -- the camera! The built in cameras are really quite amazingly good. And you are showing your skills already with it. Don't forget to lug the real camera around occasionally for the odd close up macro or wide angle!

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    1. I was surprised but still prefer the control that you have with a real camera.

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  12. So, while you lose a label, I gain one.... yay! I refuse to yield to the pressure, and can now call myself a Luddite? Hmmm. I did however acquire a murse that has space for damn near every cellular device possible. I am still trying to figure out what the hell an Icloud is? SBJ! I feel so old and antiquated some days!

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    1. I know the feeling. Can't figure out half of the advertisements I see anymore. Oh well, it is what it is.

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  13. Still only a flip phone in these hands. But the more I see the camera results on the newest phones, the more I think it would be great to go small! I just read another blogger friend extolling her iPhone camera and an 'app for that'. It's a conspiracy.

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    1. You're right, it is a conspiracy and it seems that Google owns the world or at least the parts of it to which facebook, pinterest, and twitter haven't laid claim.

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  14. ROTFL, I still don't carry a cell phone. I have one because my husband insists but I never have it turned on.

    Love this garden, so many beautiful things. Love it all. Is that purple dyckia planted in the ground?

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    1. Silly things, cell phones and yet, with internet access in my hands, I was able to look up some information earlier this evening for one of my glass students and when we had too many kilns going all at once and tripped a breaker, I was able to use the flashlight on the phone to find the breaker box. It can be a useful tool. It's the 21st century Swiss army knife!

      It is purple dyckia planted in the ground. They're hardy here if given good drainage.

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  15. I think I was meant to be a Luddite too. I have a smart phone, and it is way smarter than I. Biggest waste of cash ever... I think when the contract runs out, I'll splurge on a nice camera instead! What a nice treat to wonder through that magical garden with your eyes!

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    1. It's nice to hear that everyone who gets one of these doesn't decide to have it surgically implanted. I already feel myself being sucked into the collective.
      Glad you enjoyed the garden. I kept wishing that I'd brought my real camera.

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  16. AMAAAAAAZING!!! I do wish you had some photos of a variegated trachycarpus, but those are amazing! I too absolutely love the eucalyptus. It's one of the most attractive trees. I wonder if the citrus is yuzu? They seem to be quite hardy around the pacific northwest. I recently saw a large one in the kitsilano area of Vancouver

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    1. It's a garden that you'd love Louis! The citrus in the picture is Citrumelo but he also had a Yuzu in the garden.

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  17. The photos look great! Does this mean you'll be on Facebook more?

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    1. Thanks! Don't know if I'll be on Facebook more or not. Did I miss something on there?

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  18. We have one cell phone that we share but rarely use, and R never misses an opportunity to rail over those you so amusingly describe in your opening comments. I'll read him those, but neglect to mention that you have sold out.

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    1. Bless you for not ratting me out as a sell out to the cell beast.

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  19. I never think to use my phone camera. These photos are great! And I just figured out that my car has a USB port so I can plug in the phone and play music. I guess these gadgets are just wasted on me...

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    1. It's all too confusing. I'm still trying to figure out how to play a record in that little slot beneath my car radio.

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  20. Resistance is not always futile. Despite being given two cell phones, my wife still refuses to use hers. The first she said was too complicated, and she just wanted something to make and receive the occasional phone call. The second phone fit that description, she used it twice since last Christmas and then misplaced its charger. Can you say passive/aggressive?

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    1. It's heartening to hear a success story from behind the barricades of the resistance. I've only made one phone call but have used the gadget to access the web a lot. It's so easy and fairly intuitive. Crazy. Congratulations to your wife! Unfortunately it seems that now I've been pulled into the collective and I have this information so she may not be safe. Sorry.

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  21. I'm impressed with the cell phone photos. Someone posted a fantastic macro shot taken by one. I only have a flip phone, it really makes it easier to meet up with someone. I can't see paying the data charges for a smart phone, despite the fact that my son is a computer programmer who makes apps for iPhones, etc.

    I once had a Citrus trifoliata, which was hardy enough, but didn't flower or fruit, and was very thorny, so I got rid of it. One that would have fruit would be nice. Interesting shots of lots of fantastic plants, thanks!

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    1. The data plan is nice because it's like having many of the capabilities of a computer with you whenever you have your phone close by.

      Too bad that your Citrus trifolata neither bloomed or fruited for you!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.