Archive for May, 2007

“Orme School Commencement Address”

I gave this speech last month to the audience and Class of 2007 at my old boarding school.   Good morning, Mimi, good morning ladies & gentlemen of The Orme School, good morning young ladies and young men. This place is utterly fantastic. I’m not sure if you all are aware of this. It’s like [...]

The Green Card

After closing our fiscal year at Burpee Seeds, I noticed some intriguing figures in the sales of flower and vegetable seeds to home gardeners that, while displaying great differences, also show affinities that would warm a compost heap. Politics, in my opinion, is not so much a contest between different states of red and blue as between different shades of green—a comforting reality in today’s frosty political climate.Lets’ first examine…

Here Comes the Moon

My next project is night gardening. Once during the Q & A part of a speech I gave in New York City, a petite elderly lady popped up and asked, “What do you offer for a night garden?” I mumbled something about moonflowers, four o’clocks and an especially iridescent pale petunia I’ve since forgotten. But [...]

Welcome to the Garden Party

As Election Day nears, I issue an appeal to my fellow gardeners: Make yourself heard. Leave off your harvesting, raking and mulching for a minute and broadcast, not just your spring bulbs, but your beliefs.There are approximately 78 million gardeners in the U.S. – a number greater than either major political party. It is time [...]

The Lawrence Welk Bowling Shirt

I played high school varsity football, joining surprisingly but indifferently in my freshman year, because on the one hand I was an unusually large kid, and on the other I found boarding school a distracting environment. I couldn’t get into the “Kill, Kill, Kill!” spirit. I was too green, the only freshman on the team.But [...]

Natural History Related

May Theilgaard Watts Reading The Landscape Of America — Botanical observation and nature writing combined in a stylish book with charming illustrations, perhaps the best of its kind. A legend in Chicago and long associated with the Morton Arboretum, May Watts was a Julia Child of botany. Sometime in the sixties when my mother took [...]

Japanese Psychiatry

A current rage is “The Asian Challenge”: how to respond to their explosive growth, power and influence, and how to relate to Asians as individuals, families, neighbors and communities. Toyota will soon pass General Motors in size; our local supermarket sells vegetables grown, frozen and shipped from China; and over the last ten years, about [...]