“A man’s mistakes are his portals of discovery.” – James Joyce Then again, Joyce was a man of ideas. I’m sure no contractor ever said to a client: “Oh, that retaining wall I put in last fall is collapsing now? But of course! How could something so bourgeois hold back the anarchy of our modern age?? Don’t you see?? It was futile from its inception!!!” Continue reading
A few miles south of where I live there’s an old DC prison complex which used to be known as Lorton Reformatory. Several years ago they shut the place down and transformed a few of the larger buildings into a new “Arts Center” where painters, sculptors, and other creative folks can rent studio space and teach classes. Continue reading
I hate to bring this up, but sooner or later your body is going to rebel against the physical demands of gardening. It is not going to appreciate the fact that, within the course of an afternoon, you hauled 30 cubic feet of mulch on your back, bent to the ground from a standing position 167 times, and — on tiptoe – leaned forward while stretching waaaay out with your hedge clippers to reach the top of the damn yew hedge, so that the torque on your lower back was approximately 1200 foot-pounds per square inch, or however you measure that. Continue reading
If you had to choose one place in the United States that you felt all Americans should visit, one landscape or landmark representative of the “American ethos”, what would it be? I started pondering that question last week after reading Catherine Stewart’s story about her pilgrimage to Uluru (more familiar to us Americans as Ayers Rock), the giant monolith located smack dab in the middle of the Australian continent. Continue reading
Take a look at the pair of images below. What would you say they have in common? Now, I’m pretty sure the garden vignette on the right was not modelled directly after Thomas Cole’s painting (on the left), but the two certainly do seem to share some genetic material, don’t they? The arches, the vines, the muted colors, the effort to capture antiquity — all are present in both painting and garden. Continue reading
Nothing announces the mood or atmosphere of a garden more so than Garden Ornament. Sure, you can plant an Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’ and a carpet of black mondo grass, but it’s really the stone lantern that declares: Continue reading
This weekend my son accompanied me to the garden center and wanted to choose his ‘very own’ little pot of flowers. I let him browse around the annuals section and take his pick. He chose these sunny, red geraniums.
Ahhhhh, the joys of gardening with children! How lovely to watch their sense of wonderment! To see them skipping and frolicking in the flowers! To observe with Continue reading