Tag Archives: Here we go again

Life. Re-potted.

Hello hello!

It has been quite some time since I’ve written, hasn’t it? I wanted to check in and assure you that YES, I’m still alive. I’m writing on an eve of a pretty big change. The past few months of my silence here have been filled with much activity in life – and of course, in the garden.

Life. Once again, re-potted.

In 2003 I had moved into a condo in San Francisco with a tiny patio. I thought it looked barren. So I planted.

In 2005 that tiny patio turned out to be too small for me. So, I moved to another condo with a larger patio. And I continued to plant.

In 2006 that slightly larger patio turned out to be too small for me. So I moved into a house with a yard. Not just any house. I was able to acquire the home I grew up in. And I continued to plant.

In 2011 I had to move away from that home. It was heart wrenching. It felt as if I was shattered. But I still was thankful. And I continued to plant.

In 2012 the plants were moved into a new location. I really had no other choices at the time. In May of 2012 I had to get out because that place was a fucking piece of shit. I moved into a temporary location. You can read about that move:  part one here. I still continued to plant. I was waiting for the greenhouse that I affectionately called “The Asylum” to open up. Once it did, that was move part two. So in August of 2012 I moved into The Asylum. And there, I continued to plant.

In 2015 I moved out of The Asylum. Three years of commuting an average of 30+ minutes each way began to take a toll on me. The 2600+ square foot glass sanctuary was a beautiful and a mighty place to grow. I do miss that grow location. What was lacking was balance. I would only see the plants maybe once or twice a week. On bad traffic days, it would be an hour or more each way. Three years of this was wearing heavy on my soul. And my god, how I wanted to plant.

In 2016 I moved the plants to a local nursery in Pacifica. The new place was only five minutes away but I still had to drive. It was smaller and there was not much room to work with. The last move out of The Asylum took so much out of me… however I still wanted to plant.

All of this leading up to this point… I’m moving again.

The plants have already moved. They are currently several hundred miles away, and I’ll be reunited with them soon. And I will plant.

Thank you all who have been following this crazy plant adventure of mine. I was recently going through some of my old writings from 2006 from when I first moved into my house. Yeah, a decade ago. I wanted to share a modified passage from one of my first online garden journals/blogs with you here. It’s actually more for me. Just a reminder for me to enjoy this journey.

Life’s hourglass has again turned and another season of change is upon me. I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and I have grown much here. And, at the speed of life, I have outgrown my space and now I will be moving to a new house creating new memories.

My garden is the living repository in which events of my life are recorded and tucked away. Each stem, each petal, and each leaf blade is a poem waiting to be discovered. One just has to listen. My garden is my journal – the collection of my memories that is open and read by all. Each plant is an icon of an event: they are the witnesses, they are the scribes, and they are the story tellers. Some plants have been passed on to me, and some I have only begun growing as I am leaving a legacy to pass on to future generations. With my garden expanding with so much vibrant growth, color, and botanical diversity – I realize perhaps that is only just a reflection of how much I have grown…

Quite simply – I have outgrew my container and the season of expanding is at hand. Sure it’s uncomfortable during this stage of moving – but with the lessons learned from the same situations in the past, it has only lead to one thing – more room to grow and expand.

Stay tuned.
There’s going to be a lot to follow.
Let’s grow.

On The Move. Again.

I’m moving the plants. Again.

You read that right. I know it was only a few months ago that I moved into this greenhouse, but as the season continued I saw that the place I am in now is less than ideal for growing — and not just that. It’s not large enough to house the Sarracenia madness. I’ve noticed that all my moves also seem to coincide with my gardens fullness. Once the garden hits full capacity, I move. Seriously. As soon as the garden is packed out, I end up getting transplanted.

From a one bedroom condo in San Francisco with tiny patio years ago that I totally packed out, to a two bedroom condo with larger patio (check out the photo to the left – that was my patio in 2005) to my childhood home home with big ol’ yard and bright ol’ light and great water that let me grow many plants, to 1500 sq foot sub par greenhouse where I am at now… oh, it never ends. It really is a wild and awesome adventure. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m still thankful. It could of been a lot worse. It’s simply – life. Yes, a few plants are doing well in these conditions – Nepenthes, Heliamphora, and Cephalotus seem happy here, so it’s not a complete loss. But it could be better. Anyway – because of my less than ideal conditions, *many* plants were lost this year – perhaps in what was my worst year ever. It happens. Trying to negotiate the challenges at the current spot with the lighting, water, air circulation, and old facilities make it, well… let’s just say “difficult” at best. On top of that, I’ve gone through so much this in the past year. Letting go of the house, moving, a drastic change in employment – life’s been interesting lately. So many times this past year I’ve thought about walking away from this passion of growing plants. Yeah, it has gotten that bad at at times. I have thought about just dropping it all — and just walking away. I don’t know if any gardeners out there have faced anything like that — but damn, I sure have. Yep. It was that depressing for me. Is it madness to continue in this direction? Maybe. I am trying not to let the fear of failure get the best of me and if this new venture doesn’t work out – hell, I at least I can say, “I tried.” Giving up on growing has crossed my mind from time to time. No lie. However, the more I think about it – spending time in the garden and doing what I do with the plants was and is my form of non-destructive therapy to cope with all this “stuff” going on. Being surrounded by this living energy and seeing things grow (even in sucky conditions) has helped me to deal with all of life’s crazy moments. Gardening is part of me and I realize there’s no way I can ever separate myself from something so woven tightly in the the fabric of my being. Even when times look so fucked up, things manage to work out one way or another. I have to remember, it will all be okay. I am thankful for the encouragement from my friends and family. So thankful to have my wife, her encouragement and her patience with me throughout it all… And I’m so very thankful for all of you readers who allow me to share some of my insane passion and my life’s garden story with you. Like I said before: my garden is a living and breathing repository where life’s events are tucked away and recorded. It is my living journal – a collection of my memories. Each plant is an icon of an event: they are the witnesses, they are the scribes, and they are the story tellers.

This dark chapter of my garden’s story is drawing to a close. The next chapter has a very bright future. I’ll keep you all updated on this transition as it happens while throwing in posts about the plants and other ventures in between all the moving updates.

Here’s a few photos from this weekend.
Yah. Here we go, again…

June Move 2012
The greenhouse I am in now is packed – you can see how crowded and colorless the plants are, and how stretched they have become. I thought this would be enough space, and I wasn’t expecting it to be this dim in the middle of the summer. The fiberglass as you can see in some of these posts, is quite old and blocks out much of the needed light.

June Move 2012Several Drosera binata’s hangin’ out. They are just OK for their condition. They are very long, and have gotten quite leggy – stretched due to the light.

June Move 2012
Still a jumbled mess ! Disorganized from the move a few months ago. Oh well. I am looking forward to rebuilding and expanding soon.

June Move 2012The Dionaea. Some of the first ones to move out of here.

June Move 2012
Hybrids toppled. This sight *irritates* me to no end.

June Move 2012
This is PAINFUL to look at. You would not believe how some of these seedlings looked last year. Now they all look compost worthy.
At the new place, I hope to nurse these babies back to their former glory and beyond.

June Move 2012
This sucks … the good news is that it will all be much better soon.

June Move 2012
Packing Pinguicula and Dionaea in my trunk…  these were the first few trays to move out.


June Move 2012This is brighter. But this is NOT the final spot I am moving to. It is simply temporary housing – a holding location – until the spot close by opens up. I am so excited to get in there and start sharing the madness with you all once again. This holding place is great because it will serve as an area to “harden” the plants off to stronger light. Plants would otherwise burn if I just moved them from the dark to the bright light…

June Move 2012
First few trays moved in at the end of the row.

June Move 2012
They look kinda lonely…

June Move 2012A new road… filled with much brighter housing!

June Move 2012Looking forward…