The Way

File:King Ridge Road - Terry Morse.jpg

“Bicyclists wend their way over the rolling and twisting King Ridge road, on the ridge top above the Pacific Ocean in Sonoma County. Golden hillsides, dense oak forests, and row of immaculate vines make up the landscape.” Photo by terrymorse, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Way

The road may twist, though on the rise
I turn, the sun shines in my eyes,
But then a hollow drops before,
And so I see the sun no more.

Could we but know the way to go,
Straight as the furrows farmers sow.
With detours neither left nor right,
And childlike sleep into the night.

— Virginia Gambardella

Virginia_G

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York. She has one son, three grandchildren, and enjoys the following: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking, and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.”

 

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Ode to the Ginkgo Biloba tree and to her leaves

File:Gingko biloba JPG2b.jpg

Gingko biloba trio in Mariemont Park, in Morlanwels-Mariemont (Belgium). Photo by Jean-Pol Grandmont, via Wikimedia Commons.

I was very happy to hear great news from dian today. She’s signed two book contracts in less than six weeks! Congratulations, dian! This is her favorite ode from her book of “odes to common plants,” honoring an ancient and beautiful tree that embodies romance, mystery, and magic for so many of us. ENJOY!
— S.K.

 

Ode to the Ginkgo Biloba tree and to her leaves

Now it comes to me that you fan-shaped leaves right in front of the Hermann’s house, in Brooklyn on New York Avenue next door to my old house cause we had a parking sign pole instead of a tree and there were those leaves now I know were from a Gingko Biloba tree—fell yellow. I didn’t know your name then or why your golden fall lobed leaves, like tiny Japanese paper fans, fell differently than the Giordano’s maple tree. Now feeling the fresh fall air just reminiscing about you. You are not like the maple, the sycamore, or the sweetgum tree. Thinking of always seeing you in yellow fall on the avenue with your parted cleavage scattering in sheer fall camisoles with one missed blouse button and though you are classy, you are from a street tree, a living fossil 350 million years old making you the oldest tree on earth from the era of dinosaurs. You are the earliest of my leaf-time memories of not thinking you were really a leaf.  You Ms.—silver apricot—maidenhair tree, every leaf brings me right back to you.

— dian parrotta

 

Image preview

Ginkgo biloba Fallen Leaves, taken at Tyler Arboretum, Media, Pennsylvania by Derek Ramsey, 2007 via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Dian is a proud alumnus from the State University of New York’s Stony Brook University which had taken her for the first time away from Brooklyn. She also holds an M.A.T degree from George Mason University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Lindenwood University. She enjoys writing about the health benefits of eating delicious dandelions, broad-leaf plantain, purslane, garlic mustard, common nettle and the very tasty pigweed.  She harvests words into odes that celebrate the common plants, trees, shrubs and roots. She does dream to retire from teaching after 30 years at a local high school within the next year or so to join her two sons, who are both living in Prague and in Madrid, Spain. She says she wouldn’t mind spending her retirement writing garden, flower and plant poems.

 

 

 

 

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Happy Halloween!

Halloween_Card_Petunias_2019_LOW_RES

 

Late last week I had the wild, last minute idea of creating a postcard to give out for Halloween. (We always get over 100 trick o’ treaters on our street, and I haven’t missed a Halloween since we moved here in 1993!)

I found an image on the Internet (by searching “chick in witch hat”) and tracked down the wonderful artist on Etsy. She had sold the painting but offered to let me buy a license for a very reasonable cost to print a few hundred postcards with the image. I did that (all at the last minute, through Vistaprint), and received the cards yesterday, just in the nick of time for All Hallow’s Eve!

Actually, these cards are for the parents we’ll meet, a little advertising gimmick, but a cute one I think! The kids will get organic lollipops and Halloween stickers, and “oohs” and “ahhs” on their costumes.

I discovered that the artist (a gardener!) has sold a few licenses of her artwork to Trader Joe’s, for cards. That thrilled me because my family knows how much I LOVE Trader Joe’s greeting cards; I buy them all the time. Far too many of them.

The Etsy store. 4WitsEnd, with the artist’s other lovely work.

Here’s the back of the card:

Halloween_Card_Petunias_2019_back_edited-6

 

I hope you’re having a creative and fun Halloween!

With loving thoughts to all,

Sandra

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Free “Petunias” Sept. 4th and 5th!

Hello beautiful gardeners,

My memoir is FREE today and tomorrow on Amazon (downloadable ebook)!
Take a look, tell your friends.

Thanks!

With LOVE and gratitude,
Sandra

november-19-final-green-2018

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Ode to the plantain weed

Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) by Bob Embleton, England, via Wikimedia Commons. “On the grass verge on May Day. Also known as fighters, soldiers, hard-heads (as they can be used in a game similar to conkers), fire-weed and fire leaf.”

 

I was so happy to “meet” dian this last week. We’re birds of a feather, interested in literature . . . and eating weeds! Ha!
— S. K.

Ode to the plantain weed

a Brobdingnagian broad leaf
plantain
a circular universe

this round leafed plant
low circles of leaves,

low-growing pressed
close squatting real low

with flower stalks 12-18 inches tall
spike shells like firing silver bullets

cone-shaped bloom
bending its stem tight

arrow heads fly
You are your own macrocosmos

an intercontinental ballistic missile
control facility center

with medicinal properties with edible leaves and seeds
appreciated from far back

Anglo-Saxons remedies for scapes, wounds, burns, sores
bites and bee-bug stings.

a wide rosette spread
a common weed with wide, oval leaves

by Roman armies
on conquests

You, so remembered as the white man’s
perennial foot print

— dian parrotta

Ribwort_plantain_by_sannse_Plantago_lanceolata_Essex_England_via_WC_

“Ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata), Essex, England” by sannse, via Wikimedia Commons

  *    *    *

dian_parrotta_August_2019

Dian is a proud alumnus from the State University of New York’s Stony Brook University which had taken her for the first time away from Brooklyn. She also holds an M.A.T degree from George Mason University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Lindenwood University. She enjoys writing about the health benefits of eating delicious dandelions, broad-leaf plantain, purslane, garlic mustard, common nettle and the very tasty pigweed.  She harvests words into odes that celebrate the common plants, trees, shrubs and roots. She does dream to retire from teaching after 30 years at a local high school within the next year or so to join her two sons, who are both living in Prague and in Madrid, Spain. She says she wouldn’t mind spending her retirement writing garden, flower and plant poems.

 

 

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Summer Performance

Virginia sent me a charming poem this morning via email and I found a photo that seems to fit just right. I hope you enjoy both!

— S.K.

Miscanthus_sinensis_Graziella_Photo by David J. Stang. First published at ZipcodeZoo.com., WC

Miscanthus sinensis ‘Graziella.’ Photo by David J. Stang. First published at ZipcodeZoo.com. Via Wikimedia Commons

 

Summer Performance

I watched the tall slender grasses
Dancing to the beat of the wind.
They gracefully dip and twist
Ballerinas in green tutus
Swirling silver-tipped curving heads
Nature’s Corp de ballet
A summer performance.

— Virginia Gambardella

virginia_gambardella

Virginia Gambardella lives in New York. She has one son, three grandchildren, and enjoys the following: people, holidays, antiques, nature, gardening, fishing, decorating, fashion, sharing knowledge, cooking, and baking. She’s a cancer survivor, a pancreatitis survivor, a widow, and the re-inventor of her life, “as necessary.”

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Happy Birthday Charles Mraz

Oh, those “old wives tales”!
(Translation: female wisdom gained from connecting to Nature and used to help humanity over hundreds of thousands of years.)

Although it’s not Charles Mraz’s birthday today, I wanted to share this post from Sassafras Bee Farm.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

–S.K.

Beekeeping365

Charles Mraz, Advocate of Therapeutic Bee Sting Therapy

Obituary as published in the New York Times

cmrazCharles Mraz, an inventive beekeeper who since the 1930’s had been the country’s leading evangelist for the therapeutic use of bee stings, a still unproven treatment, died on Monday at his home in Middlebury, Vt. He was 94.

Mr. Mraz was widely known among beekeepers for developing a hardy strain of bees well suited to survive in the chilly Champlain Valley in Vermont and for figuring out how to get cranky bees safely out of the way so honey could be harvested more easily.

But many thousands of people with chronic diseases knew him for his campaign to have bee venom and other bee products accepted as medical therapies in the United States — a quest that began when he deliberately bared his own arthritic knees for bee stings. His proselytizing…

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