Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Day 227 & 248- Unusual Desert Plants

A long, long time ago, there was a great warrior Emperor known by all  as the Desert King.  An all powerful ruler governing the largest region of desert land, his kingdom stretched  from the Rajasthani Thar to the Great Sahara. 

In the great kingdom of this emperor, hid a well-kept secret known only to two men, the King himself and his Chief Gardener. This was a secret  so guarded that the King could only reveal it once in his lifetime, to his successor, at his deathbed and upon his last breath. Legend  has it that this was how the final conversation between the King and his son went .....

My dear son, 

 Now that you are going to be King,

I can finally reveal to you,

The Mysteries of The Secret Garden.
To the farthest north of our Kingdom is a secret garden where the rarest and most splendid plants are kept. Collected by Desert Kings before you since time immemorial,  all these plants share a common trait. They are all makers of mystical legends.

Like the Yellow Desert Windflower for instance, she was also called Anemone by the Greeks. Anemone was a nymph cursed with a beauty only a jealous Goddess could hate. When Chloris, the Goddess of Flowers found out that both Zephyr, the gentle Spring wind, and Borea, the god of the West Wind had fallen in love with Anemone, she had vengefully turned  the nymph into a flower which was to wither by the time Zephyr arrived. Strangely though, as if in defiance, windflowers now bloom only when the first Spring wind blows, as if to herald his coming with  open mouths ready for cool kisses. 

And then we have the blue crocus or desert saffron which open like little yellow suns in full bloom. When Valentinus, a 3rd century Roman physician and Christian priest was arrested and sentenced to death, he administered his last treatment by handing to the jailor a note for his blind daughter. In the note, was a yellow crocus and the source of one of his healing herbs, saffron. When the blind girl opened the note, her sight was immediately restored and the first flower she saw was the yellow crocus which rivaled the sun in its brightness. The physician had signed off in the note what was  soon to become legendary words ~From your Valentine~. Those words were to be the physician's last but the world's first valentine's day message. That day was February 14, 270 AD.

 The Pink Cactus is really a hybrid of a pair of  young Indian lovers called  Pasancana and Quehualliu who  had run away into the mountains when they found out that Pasancana's father was going to marry her off to another. When the father and his men came looking for them, they both prayed to the Goddess of the Mountain to protect them. The Goddess thus turned Quehualliu into a hardy cactus and Pasancana into the pink flower that grew on it and that was how the pair of lovers stayed together forever.

Finally, we have the most fantastic and wondrous of them all, the prickly pear cactus. Legend has it that the Aztecs wandered throughout Mexico in search of a divine sign that would indicate the precise spot upon which they were to build their capital. The divine sign was an eagle devouring a snake, perched atop a cactus. After two hundred years of wandering, they finally found the promised sign. The Aztecs had found their home at last. As the people gathered and stared in wonder, the cactus grew into an island which the Aztec named Tenochtitlan or "the Place of the Prickly Pear Cactus".

And that, my son is the mystery revealed.

And as the new king watched what he thought was the old King drawing his last breath, the latter suddenly sat up with a jerk and started gibbering like a mad man , scaring the hell out of his son..

Arghhhhh, the old King seemed to say, *mumble mumble.. the ripened green bananas...*grumble grumble..10 years hard work *rumble rumble.. a way of cultivating banana plants in desert, you must ..But before the old King could finish his sentence, he fell on his bed  in a frenzied fit and died. And the new king never knew how his father grew the first bananas in the Secret Garden. 

Nonetheless, this episode did spark off a new mystical legend concerning the old king's  fruits of labour. The term "going bananas" was coined by the new king to refer to someone turning  mysteriously crazy or acting in an inexplicably strange manner and this term is commonly used to this day.

Having continued the tradition of making legends, the green banana's place in the Secret Garden was thus assured and they all propagate happily ever after. Amen..I mean, The End. 


 Materials used for unusual desert plants.

I spent last weekend repainting the 4 pots of desert plants and the ripened green bananas. For some of my old friends, they may remember that I did the bunches of bananas almost exactly a year ago.

As for the plants, I have bashed these 4 pots 4 times. They started life as  original clay flowers in clay pots. 2 years ago, they morphed into ugly cotton flowers  which  then became unruly cotton flowers. In 2010, they were reconstructed into ordinary house plants. Today, they stand before you as unusual desert plants. As you can see, they look nothing like what they purport to be in the story so who knows, maybe in 2012, they may be turned into plants from Mars.

There was however a rather gratifying moment last night when I photographed my mystical, unusual, desert plants. Look up at the right hand corner of this picture. Can you see her, my little Charlotte

Charlotte, my Golden Spider  crawling to the middle

Charlotte played around in the pink cactus for a while and then she whispered to me : I think this place is perfect for Charlotte's Web. 

I told myself, if it is good enough for her, it is good enough for me. At least for now.


Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Oh Sans, your story is so great! I love the King's Garden. Love the burnt pods. :) I have some of those. You have such a great imagination!

BiWuBär said...

If fate allows, I'll be here in 2012 to see if there'll be another metamorphosis into plants from Mars... I do like them the way they are now, however, it would simply be fun. Hopefully the Chief Gardener will be with us if this happens, maybe he will have learnt about the bananas by then (LOL) Great story, as always, and it was a pleasure to get to know charming Charlotte, so sorry she can't meet with my beary witch's spider Esmeralda... ;O)


Daydreamer said...

OOOOh, I love the spider, Sans! So delicate and obviously intelligent to want to be in your truly Martian desert plants! You are too funny... are you sure you aren't ...going Bananas??? LOL! I like your tale of how that saying was made up!
Truly, I like the idea of a Secret Desert Garden and I think you have made a good start because these plants are the most mysterious of any on Earth.... their variety is open to question....or infinite bashing... whichever you prefer! I like your photos outdoors.... the blending of the mini world with the real world always intrigues me... I guess I will have to look forward to 2012 for the revealing of the true plants!

malu2 said...

Hola Sans,me encantan las historías que explicas,son muy interesantes.Ya veo que te has puesto a reciclar,pues estupendo,yo siempre estoy reciclando,y con esta aficion que tenemos es muy facíl.Besos desde España.

Carol said...

Sans, what an enchanting story! I do like the results of the latest metamorphosis. I hope that Charlotte likes the desert beauties!

Katie said...

So.....now you have a pet spider! Nice:) lol

I love the idea of a secret garden! And the story to go along with it:)

Pubdoll said...

Ha, ha, you are a sick woman Sans :-)
I love this story, so good to finally know the origin to the "going Bananas"-phrase!
And you even have your own alive and kicking miniature spider!
You know, in Easter I've read the book "The secret garden" by Kate Morton. (I've read the more famous one with the same title by F.H.Burnett last year)

The Old Maid said...

I love the story and had a lot of fun reading it. Thank you so much dear Sans:)Can't wait for 2012 now!:D

Jollie said...

What a great story Sans! I just love it. I am very curious what will happen in 2012...
And your plants are so lovely!!!!!

Hugs Jollie

Ana Anselmo said...

Great story, Sans!!! Love it...

Ascension said...

Sans unas fotografias maravillosas que hacen que no se distinga lo real de las miniaturas.
Me ha encantado la historia del Jardin Secreto y enterarme de que la leyenda de San Valentin se debe a la flor del azafran (por cierto una de las especies mas caras).
Me has hecho reir con la historia de "platano va", no sera una enfermedad contagiosa no? jejejeje
Espero que en el año 2012 sigamos visitando nuestros blogs y pueda ver el tuneo otra vez de las plantas de Marte jejeje
Como siempre la visita a tu blog, un ratito para soñar.......
besitos ascension

dale's dreams said...

Excellent choice of music! :)

You have such an imagination! You did make up that part about the going bananas didn't you?

Are they those pods? I'm trying to imagine where these are in the yard...

It's always so entertaining on your blog. :)

GB said...

LOL, So That's the story behing "going bananas", is it! :D

Snowfern said...

wakakka i love the little interloper XD i remember watching the animated movie as a kid, loved reading the book even more....so beautiful i was trying to figure out which pic is your real vs fake one...i'm still confused...(my perpetual state methinks) XD

WeeLittleWest / Kathy Olaf-Obrenski said...

I love your story! The plants are so beautiful!

Sans! said...

Thank you Norma Soulet :). I am glad I finally found some use for the burnt pods. I presume you meant the 2 tallish (as compared to my desert plants)stool looking pods that were in the picture with the anemones?

I had thought they would make great stools for a fairy house but I don't know when I was going to build one :).

The garden was put together in 5 minutes in my backyard (where else? haha) and I remembered thinking how I wish I have more time to make this into a proper garden :). So I am grateful that you liked the garden :)

Sans! said...

Birgit, I think you made my heart stop for about 2 seconds there! Are you really going to be here? HERE? As in right at the doorstep of my tribal house? OMG! Email me if you are really coming!! I will be so happy :).

But if you meant visiting my blog, then of course, I expect that you will still be here! :):) I will still be happy although not as happy as if you were right here :).

The Chief Gardener is Sans! As always , she is the red herring in the story. Just one mention and then poooofff! She's disappeared :). tee hee :)

Sans! said...

Bets, why am I not surprised that you can tell ? Yes, I was going bananas. From severe lack of sleep and I did forget about the bananas as I wrote my post. By the way, all the myths tied to the plants were lifted from the web and not invented by me :). By the time I realised that there was to be no legends for the bananas, it was almost 3.30am. So I just invented something irreverent and silly .

I first made these plants right after I finished my lotus ponds. Fafa tried to tell me, as gently as she could , how these plants were a little unrealistic, unlike those I bashed for the lotus ponds. I told her these were strange desert flowers and since we all "don't live in the deserts and cannot profess to have seen all the plants in the world", we really don't know if these plants are realistic or not. She said "desert flowers"? You mean cacti? I have seen many cacti and I can tell you these don't look like cacti! hehehehe :):). Can't fool that girl :).

But she's always my real barometer and I treasure her opinion :). So now, these plants have to be almost magical , since they were morphed from nymphs and humans and might even be regarded as vegetable shapeshifter :).

Sans! said...

Querida Maria Luisa:):) siempre estoy de reciclaje. Pero sobre todo, me encanta transformar lo que es existente en otra cosa:). Yo no soy bueno para construir algo desde cero, así que "bash":)

Estoy tan feliz de mis historias traducidas al español así:). Gracias por estar aquí!

Besossss desde Singapore :)

Sans! said...

Carol :):), it's really good to see you here. Charlotte has disappeared but I hope she will be back. Those desert flowers are now gracing the porch of the tribal house so maybe she's now a new pet for the Rollas :). I hope so. But my dolls may think she's a golden tarantula , hehe.

I really think she's one of the prettiest spider I have ever seen. Sorry Birgit, even prettier than Esmeralda :)

Meapuntoatodo said...

Sans ... tu blog es pura magia ! fascinante la historia de Rey y su Jardin Secreto tan lleno de simbolos y sabiuduria ... tu reciclaje magnifico y las fotos muy buenas. Siempre es un placer leerte. Mariajo

Piikko said...

Sans, your plants are really beautiful! And the bananas too:D
2012??? I'm waiting...
Happy May Day:D

Kikka said...

Sans..All Your stories are so wonderful, so is this one here also!
The unusual desert Plants look like "real ones", you are a real Artist!
And the big white spider is something... she is very effective!

Sans! said...

Thank you Katie :):). I haven't seen my Charlotte for days now so I am glad I had taken pictures of her :):).

My real garden is in an atrocious state but I love gardens.It is my all time favourite playground, a secret dreamland and the most mysterious place in the world for me. :) I am always imagining what kind of creatures live in it and all that goes on when I am not there to see. Must be all the Enid Blyton I read as a child :).

Sans! said...

Teehee, Helene! Thank you for your endorsement! I am SICK! :)

I have been soooooooo busy lately and I suspect my hectic life won't let up until after polling day which will be on 7th May 2011. After that, I will catch up with everyone's blogs, I hope and reply to all the emails in my inbox!

It's election fever over here and I have volunteered to help out one of the parties. My evenings are all taken up by things related to the election! And I don't have time for anything else.

Helene, it is going to be a watershed election here as 82 out of 87 seats are contested, the highest since our Independence! Although I have to live in the only constituency or ward where the incumbent ruling party members were not contested (thus not being able to vote), I am still thrilled. Actually I can't even begin to tell you how excited I really am. :)

I will be back after Saturday :).

Flor said...

¡Hola Sans!!
Es un placer y como un sueño entrar a tu blog!

Flora said...

Cara Sans, I apologize for the usual delay with which I write this comment, the fact is that your posts are particularly difficult to read, understand and digest, especially for those who speak a different language, and always refer the comment to reading closer ...
First, I find absolutely adorable the legend, but what amuses me most is the progress of your flowers :-)
They are anything but fake, in fact: as the real ones, grow and change appearance :-)
And the spider is the icing on the cake!
You must know that in my kitchen, well protected in a corner, there lived a spider, until a few days ago ...
My daughter Elisa (two years) was going to check every day if he was okay and called him "my friend Spider" ...
Then, one day, my husband (unaware of this friendship), taken from the sacred fury of household cleaning, that comes once a year, has drawn him with the vacuum cleaner!
Now, we have had to invent the spider has gone on holiday (certainly in a better place !)...
We hope that will soon be replaced by a relative :-)
I embrace you with affection, today I send the books for you.

Sans! said...

Ewa, our General Election is finally over :) . Although the party I was helping out with won 6 seats (a historical victory by our standard), I was still a little disappointed that the opposition parties did not win more. :). So the incumbent ruling party took back 81 seats (out of 87) even though although 60% of the population voted for them . :)

Anyway, enough of politics. I just want to get back to minis after having neglected it for almost 2 weeks ! :)

Thank you my dear, for being here :)

Sans! said...

Jollie, what a contrast my desert plants are from yours LOL! I think I will go make some better ones using your method.

Sans! said...

Thank you Ana! I must go read your blog asap to see how the fair went!

Sans! said...

Jollie, I am not sure if you know of my other blog but I have written a short post about your lovely charms and magazine there ;).

Sans! said...

Ascensión, que son siempre tan dulce y gerenous con sus elogios. Me alegro de que se rió de mis historias tontas:). Estoy aún más feliz que la traducción ha funcionado bien para usted, porque este post no es fácil de leer.

Voy a tratar de escribir más cortos mensajes:). Ahhhh ... pero yo siempre digo eso y nunca lo hagas! :) jejejejeje


Sans! said...

Dale, you did go up to the park outside my house, didn't you? Those pods were from there, not my yard :). I am still not used to calling it my yard . We usually say "garden" when it is hardly a garden ..teehee :).

Boy, I am suddenly swept with nostalgia of those still nights when you were sitting out in the garden. The next time when you are down , yes, bring hubby, I think it will be a lot more fun for you because you can play tour guide :).

I have been listening to this set of songs since about 3 hours ago and I am not sick of them yet. I must say I really love my choice too..teehee ;P

And of course, I came up with the crazy story about the bananas, as if you didn't know :). I know it's a little irreverent but I think my dad will appreciate it :). He's corny like me :).

Sans! said...

Yes Gagan *nodding with a poker face. It is, it really is ;p

Sans! said...

Aiyah, Cindy darling, my pictures are all real lah! ;p

I was discussing the politics of the Wushu Federation just the other night. Would you believe we went on from midnight to 8am in the morning talking about something I completely know nothing about? :)

Sans! said...

Thank you Kathy OO(Wee Little West) :). You are too kind! :)

Sans! said...

Mi querido Mariajo:) Me has hecho tan feliz como un girasol con sus comentarios:). Yo voy a echa un vistazo a su blog para ver lo que has estado haciendo:). Siempre he admirado su trabajo:)


Sans! said...

Piikoooo sweetie, I will be here in 2012, 2013, 2014 , 2015, 2016 because I am determined to vote ! :):) haha

I sure hope you will be here to keep me company :)

Sans! said...

Kikka, the best thing about this post is the spider ;). Sometimes when you put real living things with your not so real creations, everything suddenly look lifelike :):). Shhhhhhh....don't tell anyone this trick ;P

Sans! said...

Flor, el placer es todo mío!

hugs and kisses :)

Sans! said...

Flora :). Thank you for your really candid comment. I will try to write shorter and less complicated posts. I know I don't do so well when I myself skip reading my own posts :). This is one of them. It was not an easy post to write because to me, these desert flowers were not very inspiring. But I did enjoy the bananas part (I always like the silly parts).

And of course, when dear Charlotte appeared, she really made me feel like there was a purpose to making these flowers..hahaha. How in the world did you and Elisa keep "my friend spider" in the same corner for so long? Charlotte has not appeared since that photo session. Maybe she's just here for her 15 minutes of fame! I still think she is beautiful! Tell Elisa her spider has found a new home in Singapore :)

Sans! said...

I have just googled brown spiders and found some images of a dangerous specie called the "Brown Recluse" (how apt since I haven't seen her since?)

This kind of spiders are generally small and look harmless but their bites can kill! Wow! Luckily, I didn't play with it!

malu2 said...

Sans, gracías por visitarnos,te ha gustado el sorteo con los gatos?Son nuestras gatitas, y mi hija preparo el sorteo como esta en las fotos.
Besos desde España.

Plushpussycat said...

I can tell that this blog is going to be fun! :-)

Sans! said...

María, pensé que las fotografías de sus gatos fue muy lindo y divertido:). jejeje

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