Sunday, June 14, 2015

Absolutely Crazy Wonderful: Permaculture of the Soil and the Soul

Here is the sky and cemetery gate (photographed during my recent site-visit in Feb.) in the Pueblo leading to the road to the village where AFOPADI is located, the NGO that SSG supports in Guatemala. Read more about it in Michael Daniel Meyer's remarkable blog post. I can't get the link to work so just Google: "It's Absolutely Crazy Wonderful Blog." Choose the option with: "You can support yourself with love," and read the June 10, 2015 blog post.

Below is Margarita with the healthiest-looking dog, by far, I have ever seen in that region. Usually, all the dogs look alike and are full of sores and pests and starving. This dog belonged to an AFOPADI staff member from the Capitol.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Background Matters: Skies and Bloom

At my local "green" Walgreens...

...and: at a clients. These plants have been in two years.

Bunnies like tender Elderberry, so sometimes they prune it "naturally."

Monday, May 25, 2015

Cobbler's Child: I Finally Cobbled Together Vases From My Garden

I think I used nine plants from my garden. ID?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring Season in the Landscape Biz...Plus: The Living Landscape

 Well, for starters, I admire my favorite annuals, like these Ranunculus (which I just learned was called Persian Buttercup: what a lovely name for one of my favorite flowers), where others have planted them. Cobbler's Children is a theme most Springs...
Most of my photos look like the next two below: a detail of a client's redo that I forgot to measure during previous meeting or the ugly black landscape plastic poking up in the parking lot of my local Whole Foods. Everything has both sides, like the plastic: on the minus: ugly and not environmentally-friendly (I assume corporate doesn't want to pay for somebody to weed); on the plus: I'm buying food and it is good quality and I live in a community that is not a food desert. Lots to be grateful for! As I am for...

My beloved, native American Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana) in the backyard below, opening its new green growth to a cold, but fresh, sunny day. It is a great tree in every way. Plus, as a native, I just learned that its seeds are eaten by finch. And then I learned more about Goldfinch, which seem to be around now. I believe they migrate because they are not apparent in winter, but are in Spring. Interesting to learn that they are vegetarian, but eat seeds, like those of Ostrya. I don't recall how old this tree is: maybe 12 -15 years since I had it planted.
Speaking of practicing what you preach, these two high-quality experts with great knowledge and aesthetics, have a newish book about natives and what they supply to the Eco System: The Living Landscape by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy. I have heard both these giants speak; they are superb at every level. Plus, as a photographer's daughter, I appreciate that, in my opinion, Darke is one of the best in the industry. His horticultural background is stellar as well. As for Tallamy, entomologists, like arborists, are some of my most respected and essential colleagues: couldn't do it without them! Here is an interview with Tallamy a few days ago on our local Public Radio; it's on Worldview May 11, 2015. Click on #4 for that date: "Learning to landscape with native plants."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Magnolias in "the Land That Landscape Forgot"

 After breakfast at my favorite diner in Skokie, Illinois (Sparky's Snack Shop), I drove around under the gray skies snapping photos of the magnificent Magonolia blooms. We had tiny snowflakes today and frost predicted tonight and tomorrow, so I figured they might be on the ground soon.
I give Skokie this nickname because it is full of modest houses being devoured by shrubs. Apparently, 60 years ago, guys just drove down the streets selling shrubs and evergreens. Of course nobody knew how big they would be...This has ben a stunning year for these Saucer Magnolias!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Anthropomorphic Ferns

Saw these ferns emerging yesterday at a former client's garden; great gardener and fern collector. I learned about Oliver Sacks' fern interest from him; Sacks' book, Oaxaca, is about a 10-day fern expedition in Mexico.

How would you describe these ferns???

The top ones look like charmed snakes to me...


Monday, April 13, 2015

More Signs of Spring...

Paris in the...

Bloodroot: My Fav Bloom!