Archive for March, 2009

Rights Of Spring

There’s a brief moment in early spring—usually in the first week—when a perfect freshness unfolds.  The balance of light tilts to favor the “out of doors”.  Clean air streams inside.  Fordhook’s 60 acres of forest, meadow and gardens flash in the sun. I enjoy the “species” quality of spring.  By July the jumbled, generic woods [...]

The Undeserving Rich

America’s rich are now under greater scrutiny than at any time since the era of muckrakers and Robber Barons. What the rich are guilty of, it seems, is making money and being rich. It is certainly true that wealth is concentrated in relatively few hands, with just one percent of the country possessing 34 per [...]

Spring, Volume Two

Around this time of year, I love to watch “Wild Palms“, the ultimate spring flick. The great character actor Robert Loggia can’t catch up with the pace of his imagination, which takes a devilish turn. It’s about life’s quickening quality—never catching up with itself—and our innate frustration with comprehending, much less understanding it. I like [...]

Spring, Volume One

The ultimate stimulus plan is here. Here is a process that is simple, comprehensive, wide-ranging. It illuminates what has been obscure, catalyses dormant energies, reveals new and splendid possibilities. Welcome to spring. Let us escape the dank, dark recesses of the recent past, propel ourselves into the light and bask in its revivifying dazzle. Let’s [...]

The Garden of Manners

I wonder sometimes how spectators felt as they exited the Roman Forum, having observed, say, a Christian eaten by a lion, or two gladiators battling to a bloody death. Did they depart with hearts aflutter, exultant spirits and a bounce to their step? Did they head off to a tranquil taverna and bask in the glow [...]

The Fortuneteller’s Garden

A garden is so forward-looking that it resembles sometimes a family or a business enterprise.  I’ve even heard someone liken it to a crystal ball, making it surely unique.  Seeds are literally prophetic:  tiny crystal balls.  Within 12 to 18 months, you’ll have exactly what was foretold.  This makes gardeners a strong surviving force—we call [...]

Peaceable Kingdom, Part 3 of 3

INDIAN SUMMER For pleasure during the cooling nights of late summer and fall, we offer a harmonious blend of cultivars for potager and flower beds. The following shrubs, annuals, vegetables, herbs and perennials combine beautifully with some particularly fine fruit. Vegetables: Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’   Beet ‘Bull’s Blood’   Broccoli ‘Flash’   Broccoli Raab [...]

Virtual Horticulture Revisited

Recently I was interviewed about “American gardening”.  I recalled my thoughts at “Virtual Horticulture“.  However, the reporter pressed me about major trends and fashions.  What’s the hottest plant?  Trendiest perennial?  Most popular vegetable? I tried, to no avail, to tell him that gardening is utterly decentralized—so much that it’s impossible to make generalizations, choose favorites [...]

Philly Showtime!

The Philadelphia Flower show celebrates 180 years and its parent Pennsylvania Horticultural Society its 182nd year.  Happy Birthday!  Over a thousand bloom-hungry patrons in gowns and black tie flocked to Preview Night last Saturday, enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of Italy, the show’s 2009 theme, an eye, ear, nose and throat exam for stir-crazy [...]