“Green Thumbs Up: The Surprisingly Soothing Results of Ground-level Activism”
The full article can be seen on the EYE website.Leave a comment
Exploring the world of gardening. Observations, gardens to visit, thoughts on ecology, gardener interviews, and commentary.
While writing the composting section for the new book, it occurred to me that my list in book one was rather incomplete and only covered some of the things we compost at home. There’s a surprising number of common, everyday items that are fit for the compost, yet many gardeners tend to stick to the basics such as kitchen scraps and dead plant waste. Adding just a few more items to the bin can drastically reduce the size of your weekly rubbish bag.
Is this thing on?
I’m experiencing a bit of stage fright, sitting here staring at the screen. It’s been so long since I’ve been here. Not here as in sitting at this computer staring at the screen. I’ve been to that “here” TOO much over the last few months. No I mean here, here. To this site, here. It’s been so long since I’ve pulled my head out of the cave I’ve been living in. Pulled my nose up from against the grindstone, so to speak. Reintegration is going to take some time and patience. When I thought I might write here today my first thought was, What will I say?
So much has happened and yet nothing has happened. I haven’t done any gardening so there are no recent experiences to draw from. And yet I just finished writing roughly 75, 000 words on the act of gardening. And I just spent hours upon hours looking through the thousands of photos of gardens and gardening that I took over the last year. I am immersed in gardening to the point of collapse and yet I have nothing to say.
The brain is tapped. I need a refill.
And so first some pictures. A little Dazzle Camouflage (aka Dazzle Ships), if you will. Because when I can’t speak with words, I can often find a way to say something with a picture. Although I’ll admit I don’t know what these say. Squash is pretty?
And also, wow America. It took a while for it to sink in today. I think I was afraid to believe it was real. But it is real. My excitement is swelling. I have been thinking about the Nina Simone song “Blackbird.” (Sorry I couldn’t find a version online) The first line goes, “Why you wanna fly blackbird, you ain’t ever gonna fly.” I’m a big Nina Simone fan and have long turned to that song in moments of hopeless despair. She expresses so fully that sense of deep longing and wishing for the impossible. The fear that to wish and then to turn that wish into an action (hope) will lead to more despair and pain. It’s always amazing to see a concrete example of what can happen when people take a chance — even if just a small one — to put hope into action. And so I’m then reminded of this Nina Simone song.
I’m so happy for you, America. Happy for all of us.
p.s. I have zillions of unanswered emails in my inbox. I promise to get back to you soon.Leave a comment
Over the weekend I stuck my head out of my hermit den long enough to notice that winter is coming. All of the signs are there, I’ve just been pretending not to see them. The first and most obvious being that it is cold. We haven’t turned on the heat yet but it’s getting there. The days are getting shorter, the trees are turning colour, squashes are showing up at all the corner shops, and the plants are dying back. And so, because I can’t go on putting it off and pretending that the world has stood still around me while I race towards the finish line with a big project, I spent some time over the weekend doing something about it. The biggest job I tackled was to empty out all of the terra cotta and ceramic pots, scrub them clean and then put them all away. Except for the pile that are still sitting on the kitchen floor. I don’t know where to put those yet. Seems that I acquired a few too many new containers this year and have reached beyond maximum capacity.
I had managed to take in the sensitive plants before the frost hit, however, this portion of garden cleanup is just as critical and had to be done sooner rather than later. Last year I put it off until it was too late and ended up rushing everything indoors at the last possible second, setting several pots of frozen soil in my “living room” to thaw. I must have the most patient partner in the world. I don’t think he complained about it even once. But letting it happen again would be taking advantage of his tolerance and patience. And kind of ridiculous if not impossible since we managed to squeeze a small couch into the living room this year leaving no space for frozen pots of soil.
Yesterday evening, while doing some photo work, I came upon pictures I took of the roof garden during the summer months. Looking at the pictures hurt, causing an ache and longing for the garden even though it isn’t even done yet. I just hate this time of year. While I have come to appreciate the look of the garden as it decays and goes dormant I just dread knowing that I am about to enter a period of dormancy myself. That for the next 4 months or so I will only have the indoor plants to keep me going. I miss being outside in the garden. I miss the warm air and the smells. I miss touching the plants. I miss waiting for the tomatoes to ripen. I miss my dirty fingernails. I miss all of it. I even miss the difficult work.
Anyways, I think it’s about time I announced that I probably won’t be posting here for the next few weeks. I’m in the final throws of finishing the first big stage of this project and the schedule has been so demanding over the last few months that it’s been impossible to keep up. I think it’s been fairly evident for some time now considering how little I have posted here in the last while. I’ve put off saying anything about it because I keep telling myself that maybe I will have a moment but I have been kidding no one but myself. When I have a moment I want to spend it resting. The brain and the body are weary. So very weary. I might duck in to post a Daily Botanical. I’m going through a lot of photos and taking stock and often run into something that I had forgotten about. I’ll be fully back eventually, once I’m done this leg of things and my mind and body has had a chance to come down from the mania of it.
In the meantime, happy gardening.Leave a comment
I’m going to be giving another presentation on Guerrilla Gardening tomorrow at the Style at Home Show as a part of Eco Day. The gardening presentations start at noon. Mine will be at 2pm.
Here’s the write-up:
While looking around online at vintage Victory Gardens posters I came upon this film on the City Farmer website. While the film does present some rather unhealthy gardening practices the tone is excellent, your classic 40s era voice of authority enthusiastically encouraging everyone to do their part for the war effort.
While I’m at it, here’s a poster that links the war on garden pests with the War itself in a somewhat disturbing way.Leave a comment