Archive for September, 2009

Garden Writers Redux

After giving a speech to 600 garden writers in North Carolina last week, I returned in a state of uncertainty—had anyone heard the underlying message?  It was too cerebral, I think, to read a speech to a bunch of pumped up enthusiasts who wanted to chat about the gorgeous Sarah Duke Gardens that surrounded us.  [...]

The Sunny Side Of The Garden

(The following is the speech I gave to The Garden Writers Association last night at their annual convention in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Despite the familiar first sentence and a few other tropes, it’s a new piece.  Enjoy!)   2009 has been one extraordinary year in the history of American gardening. As if on cue, a [...]

200 Motels

On this, my 200th blog, I get to say whatever I want in a top ten list, in no special order.  1.    My favorite artist is the sculptor Steve Tobin.        2.    Recent problems with literacy are due, in part, to textbook font sizes having become smaller over the last 50 [...]

The Labor Days Of Our Lives

They don’t make Labor Day like they used to. The shifting forms and meanings of labor have rendered Labor Day our most nebulous national holiday. For example, in gardening—a leisure activity—Labor Day is incorrectly considered the close of the season. For holiday-goers, it marks the end of summer—despite schools regularly starting weeks before the first [...]

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

2009 has been one extraordinary year in the history of American gardening. As if on cue, a panoply of developing trends all pointed towards the garden, opening the gates to the most dramatic resurgence in American gardening since the Great Depression. First and foremost, the current economic slump has proven an effective recruiting tool for [...]

Electric Light Orchestra

This growing season at Fordhook has been frightening. Normally, I expect a couple of monsoon like periods, a few days in late May, and another few days in late July and a couple in late August, max. However, for 2009 the reverse has been true. The only normal days have been, all combined, about one [...]