Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day, 2010

Concord Hymn

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood,

And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;

Alike the conqueror silent sleeps,

And Time the ruined bridge has swept

Down the dark stream that seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,

We place with joy a votive stone,

That memory may their deeds redeem,

When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

O Thou who made those heroes dare

To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare

The shaft we raise to them and Thee.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1837 -


U.S. soldiers prayed together at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday,

in observance of Memorial Day.

Photo: Associated Press

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Posted by Julie on 05/31 at 11:47 AM
PoliticsSecular CustomsPermalink

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Vascular Visionaries Do Georgia

Allen Bush “commences” once more with his gang of indefatigable plantsmen, scouring north Georgia in the funky month of May.

imageGeorg Uebelhart goes vertical, plant hunting

Yunnan, China, 1999

Photo: Dan Hinkley

By Allen Bush

I love graduations that feel like a tent revival: a mixture of triumph and prophecy. I see the light, no more darkness, no more night – and no more college tuition. Hallelujah!

My stepson just graduated with a mathematics degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. He’s an algorithm guy. I’m really proud of him. There were close to 400 graduates and each had to do a senior thesis. These papers aren’t cobbled together with consecutive all-nighters; they take more than a year to finish – no cakewalk.

The titles of some fascinated me. Take this anthropology thesis: “Constructing Das Deutsche Wessen through the Native American Other. German Indian Hobbyist Identity Development through the Experience of the Noble Savage and the Pursuit of the Imagined Authentic in American Indian Culture.” I should ask my Jelitto folks, in the German home office, to look at this. Or the history thesis “The Highland Bagpipe: Tradition and Transformation in Scotland, 1600 – 1850.” Reminds me of the joke: What is the definition of the perfect gentleman? Someone who knows how to play the bagpipes and doesn’t. The physics thesis was way over my head: “Accretion Disk Geodesics in Extreme Kerr Geometrics.”  One history major’s thesis intrigued me: “The Secret’s Friend: Solitude and Masturbation in American Medical Discourse, 1800 – 1850.” But that was before my time.

And then there was the sociology thesis: “‘But I, Somehow, Someway/Keep Coming Up With Funky-Ass Shit Like Every Single Day!’: Artists’ Collaboration Networks and Success in the Case of Popular Music, 1992 – 2007.” Now, we’re talking! Not the music part, but coming-up with Funky-Ass Shit Like Every Single Day. I get that. It’s the gardening life— one enriched by friendships and collaboration with funky-ass folks who’ve never had a dull day in their lives.  I am never disappointed visiting friends’ gardens or making a detour with them for the woods.

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Posted by Julie on 05/22 at 10:52 AM
Gardening & LandscapeTravelPermalink

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spotlit Sympathy for Michael

Is there is “sixth stage” of grief, called self-promotion?


A plea for tributes brought quick response—2000 sunflowers at Michael Jackson’s grave in Glendale, CA

Photo: Richard Beetham, for Splash News

Floral customs may be rooted in the past (sometimes so far there’s no accounting for origins), but the enduring ones can’t help but bloom in the present.

How’s this for an “extreme make-over” of sympathy flowers? 

It’s coming up on a year since performer Michael Jackson died. Lisa Marie Presley, who was married to Jackson 1994-96, tried to fire up his fans with a request May 12 on MySpace.

Presley wrote that she had recently visited Jackson’s crypt at Holly Terrace, Glendale, California, and was dismayed at the puny number of floral tributes. “I thought you might like to know,” LMP informed the public, “that he would want and deserves more than what is there…. I know how much he loved and appreciated being showered with Gifts and flowers by his fans.” She explained that “happy” sunflowers were MJ’s favorite and asked everyone to “SURROUND HIM” with blooms.

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Posted by Julie on 05/18 at 03:08 PM
FloristsSecular CustomsPermalink

Sunday, May 16, 2010

You Don’t Miss Your Melon

A 13-year-old from Oklahoma is working to bring beekeeping back to scouting.

imageThe Boy Scouts of America merit badge for Bee Keeping: discontinued

Photo: via wiki

For some reason, the Boy Scout merit badge in beekeeping was discontinued in 1995. Now a scout from Skiatook, OK, is working to have it reinstated. Is there a badge for community organizing? If so, Christopher Stowell, age 13 and a member of the Northeast Oklahoma Beekeepers Association, has earned it already!

We read that the average U.S. beekeeper is 60 years old. Take that bit of demography, along with the sudden disappearance of North American bees in 2006 (“colony collapse disorder” is about as clear an explanation as “unidentified flying object”) and global warming – we may be looking at a world without cucumbers, lemons, cashews, watermelons…well, just find your favorite fruit or vegetable on this list of bee pollinated plants.

First off, you can very simply sign Christopher’s petition here, to have the Beekeeping merit badge reinstated. (By the way, this isn’t just decorative. Scouts had to learn and DO quite a bit to earn the bee patch.)

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Posted by Julie on 05/16 at 10:19 PM
Culture & SocietyEcologyPermalink
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