H – Heather (1)

(bell) heather or ling

My kingdom, by Robert Louis Stevenson

My Kingdom
DOWN by a shining water well
I found a very little dell,
No higher than my head.
The heather and the gorse about
In summer bloom were coming out,
Some yellow and some red.

read the rest of My kingdom here

yellow gorse growing in Heddon’s Valley, North Devon (UK). When the sun shine warms it, it smells of something akin to coco-nut/vanilla – lovely


G – Ginkgo (2) a haiku

a haiku by Judith Gorgone

shadow of a ginkgo tree
oriental papercut
cast by April sun

(reproduced by kind permission of Judith Gorgone)
who is a running a haiku-writing contest for children in the U.S., closing date (Earthday) 15 November 2007

Painted Ginkgo leaves lend themselves as a printing medium or you can use them as a negative stencil

G – Ginkgo (1)

written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This leaf from a tree in the East,
Has been given to my garden.
It reveals a certain secret,
Which pleases me and thoughtful people.

Does it represent One living creature
Which has divided itself ?
Or are these Two, which have decided,
That they should be as One ?

To reply to such a Question,
I found the right answer :
Do you notice in my songs and verses
That I am One and Two ?

And a different version:


The leaf of this Eastern tree
Which has been entrusted to my garden
Offers a feast of secret significance,
For the edification of the initiate.

Is it one living thing
That has become divided within itself?
Are these two who have chosen each other,
So that we know them as one?

I think I have found the right answer
To these questions;
Do my songs not make you feel
That I am both one and twain?

in the original German:

Dieses Baums Blatt, der von Osten
Meinem Garten anvertraut,
Gibt geheimen Sinn zu kosten,
Wie’s den Wissenden erbaut.
Ist es ein lebendig Wesen,
Das sich in sich selbst getrennt?
Sind es zwei, die sich erlesen,
Dasz man sie als Eines kennt?

Solche Frage zu erwidern,
Fand ich wohl den rechten Sinn:
Fühlst du nicht an meinen Liedern,
Dasz ich Eins und doppelt bin?

and in French:


La feuille de cet arbre, qui, de l’orient,
Est confié à mon jardin.
Offre un sens caché
Qui charme l’initié.

Est-ce un être vivant
Qui s’est scindé en lui-même ?
Sont-ils deux qui se choisissent
Si bien qu’on les prend pour un seul ?

Pour répondre à ces questions,
Je crois avoir la vraie manière :
Ne sens-tu pas, à mes chants
Que je suis à la fois un et double ?

For further reading about the ginkgo

R – Rose (1)

Hendecasyllabics by Algernon Charles Swinburne

In the month of the long decline of roses
I, beholding the summer is dead before me,
set my face to the sea and journeyed silent,
gazing eagerly where above the sea mark
flame as fierce as the fervid eyes of lions
half divided the eyelids of the sunset;
Till I heard as it were a noise of waters
moving tremulous under feet of angels
multitudinous, out of all the heavens;
Knew the fluttering wind, the fluttered foliage,
shaken fitfully, full of sound and shadow;
and saw, trodden upon by noiseless angels,
long mysterious reaches fed with moonlight,
sweet sad straits in a soft subsiding channel,
blown about by the lips of winds I knew not,
winds not born in the north nor any quarter,
winds not warm with south nor any sunshine:
heard between them a voice of exultation,
‘Lo, the summer is dead, the sun is faded,
even like as a leaf the year is withered,
all the fruits of the day from all her branches
gathered, neither is any left to gather.

read all of Hendecasyllabics here

S – sunflower


Cripple, by Carl Sandburg


I said to myself
I would rather have been a tall sunflower
Living in a country garden
Lifting a golden-brown face to the summer,
Rain-washed and dew-misted,
Mixed with the poppies and ranking hollyhocks,
And wonderingly watching night after night
The clear silent processionals of stars.

read all of Cripple here

L – lemons


In the beginning

Oho – long before that

When light was deciding who should be in and who should be out of spectrum

Yellow was in trouble

Naturally, by a sudden change of hue

Green saw the light, and Yellow got in

Worked out fine

Yellow got lemons

And Green got limes

by Ken Nordine

listen to a recording of Ken Nordine reading “Yellow”

A – artichoke

To a Gardener, by Robert Louis Stevenson

Nor thence be missed the speary heads
of artichoke; nor thence the bean
that gathered innocent and green
outsavours the belauded pea.
These tend, I prithee; and for me,
thy most long-suffering master, bring
in April, when the linnets sing
and the days lengthen more and more,
at sundown to the garden door.
And I, being provided thus,
shall, with superb asparagus,
a book, a taper, and a cup
of country wine, divinely sup.

Read all of To a gardener here

* esculents – suitable for eating, edible
* pease-cods – the pod of the pea

Writing in the fourth century AD, Palladius, an agricultural author recommended that a cat be kept in an artichoke patch to keep away rodents and moles.

FotoSketcher - 200507100002_artichoke.JPG