Super Calla Fraggle-istic

A visit to the giant white calla lilies of my neighborhood, centerpieces of the garden explosion on Bryant St. in Palo Alto, just a block from my house. Meanwhile, my own modest pot of purple callas is shooting up towards blooming.

A sweep of (much of) the garden explosion, showing the two stands of white callas, both about 2½ feet tall, both blooming for at least 6 weeks now (they are plants that span the local botanical seasons spring and early summer, which is where we are now):

(#1) The strikingly colored spikes are snapdragons, a feature of botanical winter locally, though they will bloom into the summer (this photo and two others below by Kim Darnell)

And then the two stands up close:

(#2) The southern stand; you’ll see that new shoots are still coming up

(#3) The northern stand

From two years ago, but also more than two months into summer: from my 7/12/17 posting “Neighborhood gardens, heavy on purple”:

(#4) The photo in #1 is from the north, while this one is from the south; by July, the callas have died down until winter

This lovingly tended garden has a bit of everything: annuals like petunias and opium poppies (Papaver somniferum), ornamental perennials like geraniums (Pelargonium), ferns, cactuses, many kinds of succulents, citrus trees, gigantic coleus (Plecranthus) plants, flowering shrubs, and ground covers.

Two purple spots in the photo: in the foreground, flopped over, several statice (Limonium latifolium) plants with purple-blue flower heads; and way in the background, dots of intense purple in a considerable stand of glory bush (Tibouchina urvilleana).

In any case, the Bryant St. garden has the Super Callas, so of course I followed the singing of the Disney Mary Poppins to Fraggle Rock, where the multicolored Fraggles seek wisdom in the garden from Marjory the wise trash heap (the Bryant St. garden has compost heaps out in back, of course; even I, with my modest patio garden, work at turning my ivy clippings into mulch). On the tv show, from Wikipedia:

(#5) Marjory, attended by Philo and Grunge

Fraggle Rock… is a Canadian-British-American children’s puppet television series about interconnected societies of Muppet creatures, created by Jim Henson.

(#6) Four Fraggles and a Doozer

… Fraggles are small anthropomorphic creatures, typically 18 inches (46 cm) tall, that come in a variety of colors and have fur tuft tipped tails. Fraggles live a generally carefree life, spending most of their time (they have a thirty-minute work week) playing, exploring, and generally enjoying themselves. They live on mainly radishes and Doozer sticks, made of ground-up radishes and the material with which the Doozers build their constructions. The Fraggles seek wisdom from Marjory the Trash Heap, who is located in a corner of the Gorg’s garden. Marjory the Trash Heap is a large, matronly, sentient compost heap. According to her rat-like companions Philo and Gunge, the Trash Heap “knows all and sees all.” By her own admission, she has “everything”.

(I must confess that instead of following the Super Calla Fraggle-istic connection, I was greatly tempted by the grandes dames of Zantedeschia aethiopica, Georgia O’Keeffe, Maria Callas, and Katharine Hepburn. No doubt I’ll eventually succumb.)

Cairo Callen. In the modest confines of my front patio, there grows a pot of purple callas, which I refer to as Cairo Callen (from Woody Allen’s Purple Rose of Cairo + Michael Callen’s Purple Heart), a small fancy hybrid that comes into bloom months later than the Super Callas and blooms relatively briefly. Here’s Cairo Callen and two of his buddies just a week ago, from my 5/2/19 posting “Early summer”:

(#7) Left to right: wild strawberry, purple calla, a silver-gray species of the succulent Echeveria genus (also note mulch in the border in the background)

All three have grown alarmingly in this week. Cairo Callen has doubled in height. (Don’t stand in my way, baby, I’m shooting for the sky!)

Stay tuned for further reports.


3 Responses to “Super Calla Fraggle-istic”

  1. Sim Aberson Says:

    Fraggle Rock leads to Fragile Rock, the fabulous emo puppet rock band. Catch their Tiny Desk Concert at

  2. [BLOG] Some Friday links | A Bit More Detail Says:

    […] Zwicky shares photos of his blooming flower […]

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