Human Flower Project
Gardening & Landscape
Monday, April 16, 2012
Seeing Another Day
Coming through last year’s weather misery, the winecups and daisies were casualties, but the garden bounces back.
2012: Louis Philippe (Betsy Pirie’s rose) April 15, Austin, TX, with Jerusalem sage and Desert Museum Palo Verde
All photos: Human Flower Project
About the only record keeping we do of the garden is a tax-day photo of one front bed with a close up of Louis Phillippe, a china rose.
2009: Louis Philippe (a.k.a. Betsy Pirie’s rose) April 15
This plant was passed along to us from Terry Childress, who took a cutting from the rose bush of beloved neighbor Betsy Pirie. We took out an Archduke Charles to make room for Betsy in 2009.
In 2010, fully a year after Stan Powers had worked his wonders in the yard, and thanks to a delicious rainy fall, it bloomed in concert with the bluebonnets.
2010: Louis Philippe (a.k.a. Betsy Pirie’s rose) April 15
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Louisville was spared deadly weather but still broke records this spring with warm temperatures. Allen Bush shares the trophies.
Aquilegia canadensis ‘Pink lanterns
Photo: Allen Bush
By Allen Bush
It’s been a record-breaking late winter and early spring in Kentucky. A tornado, the deadliest to hit the Ohio Valley since 1974, clobbered Henryville, Indiana. We spent a couple of hours in the basement on March 2nd under tornado watch but were spared the eight twisters that churned a path from southern Indiana to eastern Kentucky. These storms, with violent winds and hail the size of soft balls, put everyone on edge. But we got off easy.
The other fixation was University of Kentucky’s 8th collegiate basketball championship. Though record-breaking weather never gets a trophy presentation, it’s big news when the weather veers toward extremes. In Louisville this March, the prize went neither to tornadoes nor hail but to much warmer weather.
Instead of daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s, we had nine days with summer-like heat in the 80s. You had to hold onto your hat to keep-up with the flurry of blooms. There hasn’t been a trace of frost since March 10th. The luscious blooms of Asian saucer and star Magnolias usually turn brown when they are routinely hit by a March freeze, but not this year, nor for the last three years, which must be a record. They were stunning this spring but had to hurry through flowering to make way for the rest of the floral parade.
Friday, April 06, 2012
Under the Lash of Beauty
Our rose failures outnumber our successes, but it’s spring. Who’s counting?
View from inside Wanda’s house, Smithville, Texas 4/5/12
Photo: Human Flower Project
Roses we have killed:
Coquette des Blanches
Mme Isaac Perriere
Is that enough? Considering that memory’s not all that thorough, especially where failures are concerned, we’ve likely underreported.
Fantasies we have entertained, with varying degrees of persistence:
the Texas State Domino championship
landing an academic job in the Sociology of Culture at middle age
expecting a thank-you note from anyone under 30 (make that 35)
getting a feature story in the NY Times Magazine
starting to play the accordion at age 58
(Definite under-reporting here.)
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
The Pollination Racket
A new study of birds finds that human noise is tough on pines but a boon to skyrocket flowers.
Will earplugs be the next trendy gardening accessory, this year’s Crocs?
New research by Clinton D. Francis and his colleagues suggest that in some environments anyway, noise may actually improve flower pollination. It’s a finding that will much dismay those of us who think of puttering outside as a respite from racket.
Francis and his team examined the effects of noise on plant pollination by setting up experimental stations at two spots within the Rattlesnake Canyon Wildlife Area in northwestern New Mexico. One location was relatively quiet, but the other was adjacent to a natural gas well operation, with big machinery and compressors at work around the clock.