The first day was sunny and warm, the second day rainy and cold. I felt guilty about being sick the first day. On the second day...the rain gave me permission to stay in my PJs, drink hot cocoa, and wrap myself in ultra warm blankets. The guilt was lifted.
For some reason bad weather allows us to accept a quiet day, rest our bodies, even celebrate misery (in a good way). Now if I just had some pretty pink wellies to uplift every rainy day.
A few weeks ago Trinity University Press shared their new book, Home Ground, with me and asked for a review. I have always been intrigued with garden vocabulary, so jumped at the chance to read this publication.
In the simplest sense Home Ground is a collection of landscape terms. I was quite surprised to find that it is not just a reference book, though successfully fills that role. It is a beautiful collection of writings from a multitude of authors on how they define the landscape.
Accuracy is impeccable, but the real punch is how each author injects culture, history and sometimes memory into the evolution of these terms. Of course, many lovely illustrations accompany the terms that need additional clarification.
Home Ground is a beautiful celebration of the landscape from the hearts of many devoted people. This is a book one should have on their shelf to fulfill answers, yet in the end you will also find inspiration. It is an absolute pleasure to read about the landscape...in such a personal way. By knowing the language of American landscape, our sense of place is heightened.
The book is available at booksellers everywhere and at Amazon.com. Enjoy!
I was thinking about how "green" Halloween is in the holiday world.
Pumpkins are bright, fun, and a renewable decorating resource. Plus you can carve them into whatever you want....the perfect green craft. Of course, there are hundreds of different kinds to fuel the creative juices. When they start to cave in on themselves, you just add them to the compost pile and start the whole cycle again.
Something I have always wanted to build is a coffee table shadow box where I can showcase beautiful items we find outdoors. It would be painted white, with a glass top. Imagine the floor of this box being a beautiful classic yellow and white wallpaper pattern, with a display of lovely acorns, pine cones, seed pods, and nests lovingly placed on top. Until this dream comes true I've collected images below to fill my digital collection box.
I enjoy weeding (there, I said it). Why? Because I feel powerful around them.
I earn the power of physical activity. It's a great way to add variety to your excercise routine (if you have one and if not, you just got a little sweat).
I am rewarded with the power of contemplation. Weeds give me the chance to slow down and think simple thoughts.
I am bonded with the power of connection. Weeding allows me to get closer to my plants, watch their progress, and simply helps me develop a better relationship to a wonderful landscape (that I created).
I am fulfilled with the power of accomplishment. Some days I feel like I've rushed through life and not achieved a single thing. With weeding you see (and feel) accomplishment withing minutes.
One of my favorite things to grow is cut flowers. I can't be outside 24-7, so I bring in as many flowers as possible. My husband kindly makes me a large area near the vegetable garden where I can hack away as many blooms as needed (he hates it when I touch his perennials).
Each month I'd like to show you an array of floral design using mostly garden flowers with hints of greenhouse ones. This arrangement is a beauty from small stump + studio choo. The flowers are identified below.
As we ran long distances in cross country we would pass one perfect farm after the other. I became intrigued with the big barns, two-story houses and rows of corn. The geometry was mesmerizing and held a secret world unknown to me (I lived in town and when much younger in the big city of Chicago).
We also ran in a beautiful county park filled with prairie, woodlands and streams. I was equally mesmerized by this informal landscape. Today I still enjoy the dichotomy of formal and informal. Photo courtesy of Jonas Peterson
Why do you need to favor one over the other? Quite honestly, it's the combination that creates edginess in the landscape.
I found this lovely quote while writing my thesis on farm gardens. It describes me and what I love perfectly. I have always been intrigued with functional things and how they bring beauty into our lives.
A co-worker recently said to me...why do people always want to see a formal garden with clipped hedges, topiary and perfectly groomed paths? Frankly, it's because they never get to see that. How many of you have a knot garden in your backyard? Think about the energy that goes into a garden like this. Yes, it's time consuming, but think of the personal connection you develop with that type of landscape (you either hate it or love it), but in the end we're all intrigued with it.
Just so you know, this blog is not just about formal gardens...it's really about how we manipulate our outdoor environment to make it our own. What's up with the "tiramisu" part? That's in the next post.
Beauty and function should go hand in hand. Why have a beautiful garden unless you actually use it? Interestingly, many stylistic garden images are devoid of people. I understand why...it is easier to capture a pristine space without the clutter of humans bounding about. These are lovely photos, but they lack energy and emotion.
I hope to show you the energy of a garden by the people in it...laughing, loving, eating, playing, and creating. This is how a garden exhibits personality.