Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Profligacy Is the Best Policy

Not one to be “designed,” poppies have a field day this March in Texas.


The March poppy crop, Austin, TX, more on the way

Photo: Human Flower Project

“I cannot get too many Renoirs,” Albert Barnes confided to friend and fellow art collector Leo Stein, 1913.

We know the feeling, except our greediness grasps in other directions – accordions, Triscuits, poppies.

It started out innocently enough, with seed from Ellen Zimmermann – the salmon colored and fluffy Shirley poppy she called ‘Dorothy Cavenaugh’ for her friend, the former president of Austin’s herb society. Those beauties performed so well in the side yard, we tried some red papaver somniferum. (We understand why the Afghan farmers go for this crop – it’s a cinch.)

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Posted by Julie on 03/27 at 04:31 PM
Gardening & LandscapePermalink

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Homage and Horror Vacui

An artist’s floral installation pays final tribute to Boston’s 90-year-old mental health center.


The barren Massachusetts Mental Health Center opened

to the public, blooming for four days before its demolition.

Photo: Bloom

“How does one memorialize a building impossibly rich with a history of both hope and sadness?” asks Christopher Jobson on his intriguing weblog Colossus (many thanks to Annie Ardery for pointing us this way).

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Posted by Julie on 03/21 at 09:11 PM
Art & MediaCulture & SocietySecular CustomsPermalink

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Garden Inspiration: Yin or Yang

Allen Bush, just back from a major conference of plantsmen, remembers two impossibilities and several mentors that sealed his gardening fate.

imageAgastache ‘Tango’

Photo: Jelitto Seed

By Allen Bush

I’d barely shoved-off from the hotel curbside when the cab driver asked abruptly, “What’s your name?” I hadn’t swept the sleep from my eyes but I knew where this was going. It’s not commonplace anymore, but the Bush on my nametag still draws the occasional question: “Are you related to George Bush?”  (I always feel like I’m being lobbed a soft one. )

“He’s my father.”

“You’re kidding?!”

My father’s name was George.  When Bush the elder was President, besotted bar flies would occasionally get the fool idea to call the commander in chief in the middle of the night. My father was the only George Bush listed in the Louisville directory.  (It must have been much too complicated to call Washington-D.C. directory assistance in the wee hours to get the White House switchboard.)  Dad hung-up three or four times before he had his name taken out of the phone book.  Listening to a slurred Pledge of Allegiance at 2:00 a.m was not his patriotic duty.

Moses, the Nigerian cab driver, talked non-stop for 15 minutes from downtown all the way up North Charles Street to the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center. I got an earful about politicians (none were to be trusted) and the Bushes. I wanted only a little quiet.

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Posted by Julie on 03/14 at 04:20 PM
Culture & SocietyGardening & LandscapePermalink

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This Blessed Plot

What happened to the front garden? The original home theater and neighborhood forum, a gift that’s been retracted. (Thank you, John.)

imageEssay and photos by John Levett

There’s a saying: ‘Don’t change yer clout ‘til may is out.’ Discussion used to always arise about whether changing clout (clothing) should take place after the may (hawthorn) came out or May came in. Whatever. The may is out and in these parts it feels as if the season is on the turn. The weather has been kind this year. It’s just turned March and I’m in credit with the energy company. We had a cold spell at the opening of February but you get the feeling that that’s that.

March is busy: finish pruning anything left before nesting time, clear the space of rubbish, repair paths, wash out the shed & re-prime, buy in the mulch, first feed, tie in stray shoots, secure ramblers—get to the point where you feel you can start sitting in the garden. It’s a long month to come before I’m in that state but it’s started.

It’s a time when the planning trope creeps back in. What’s the new grand design? What’s not there that should be? What have I always planned to raise? Everything’s possible at this time. Nothing that’s not worth a shot. Gardening in heroic mode. (Note to self: “Yes it’s failure, but how good a failure?” - Cornell West.)

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Posted by Julie on 03/10 at 11:03 PM
Art & MediaCulture & SocietyGardening & LandscapePoliticsSecular CustomsPermalink
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