Showing posts from August, 2014

What Happens to the Garden in an Earthquake

 We went outside to see where Doobie, our most skittish cat, was hiding. It was dark, no power, no moon. The night sky was dense with stars - a sight not often seen unless you are camping . We couldn't waste flashlight power outside when indoors was a sea of broken glass and fallen household contents. Violent earthquakes are shocking events, and your mind starts to organize itself into an action plan..lets sweep up the glass, lets see if the chimney is still up, lets see if we have water , listen for gas leaks etc. All these things you just do, as calmly as you can. The shock of what has just happened , a 20 second event in the middle of the night, put us on auto pilot. . But it would have been beautiful to sit in the garden, and look up at the dark skies we never see here. Our job though, was inside the house, with the flashlight and the broom.  Later in the day we went outside, needing a break from the debris and curious to see what might have occurred there.  The spiral Aloe

Strolling the Lurie Garden

 Travel season continued for me with a short trip to Chicago , business related and tightly scheduled. Every time I go to Chicago I tell my self that the next time I will take an extra day and do some touristy stuff, but it was not to be this year. Still, I always find a way to pay another visit to the Lurie Garden in Millennium park.I've blogged about this garden previously here , and here . Designed by a world class triumvirate of Piet Oudolf, Robert Israel and the Seattle firm Gustafson,Guthrie and Nicol, the garden was completed in 2004. I've visited several times and taken vast quantities of photos--this is a garden I never tire of. It remains in the top tier of gardens for me ; a space that presents a stylized version of the North American prairie .   There are several routes that will take you into the garden, but access through the 'shoulders hedge is my favorite.  Looking  thorough gives  you a tantalizing peek at what lies ahead.    Loo

Epiphany on Rhone Street

 I've done a fair amount of garden touring this summer, in public and private gardens on both coasts. New England gardens can be both exciting and frustrating -lavish, verdant and impossible to duplicate here in Northern California. The environmental trio of humidity, summer rain and warm nights seems to facilitate explosive growth, the trade off for a bitter winter. I'll keep my winter thanks, but would welcome a modest amount of summer rain. Only when I'm at the office or sleeping of course, and nothing that would turn flowers into blobs or instigate flopping.I hate flopping.   Portland on the other hand, has many similarities to my own zone 9/8  (like a late April Aries, I'm on the cusp) climate. In spite of it's reputation for constant rain , summers are relatively dry (find some data here )  and winters wet and mild. Intellectually, I knew all this when I stepped on the Fling bus. I've visited Portland frequently in all seasons and previous to this trip h

The Hateful Areas

 Oh you hateful areas, how you smirk at my despair, knowing that I am galvanized into inertia  in the face of what a transformation from dreadful to pleasing entails. When touring gardens (and there have been many this summer) I habitually look for the hateful areas of others-surely they are acceptable in my own garden if open gardens have them ? Of course they are never seen, because those who open gardens have a plan that hides, or fixes the more godforsaken regions of their plot- It's the outdoor equivalent of putting up a decorative  folding screen to hide the litter box... pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.  Here are mine...confession is the first step towards rehabilitation.  The RV parking parking space, which does not have, nor will it ever have an RV. Look at all the concrete ! I will say that a few months ago ago this looked much worse, featuring a falling over fence and many piles of discarded lumber and other crapola that didn't fit in the trash to