Category Archives: Garden Writers We Love

The Glad Hand of Spring

A Forsythia inside the courtyard of ENS Ulm Copyright (c) 2005 David Monniaux WC

“A forsythia inside the courtyard of École Normale Supérieure (Paris)”, Copyright 2005 David Monniaux, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

The Glad Hand of Spring

Golden shooting stars fall toward the earth,
A fragile graceful fountain,
Refreshing mental drought.
A burst of garden laughter,
The greeter at spring’s gate,
Forsythia!

(April 17, 1989)
Virginia Gambardella

Virginia writes: “I vividly remember the day I wrote this poem. I needed a poem for the church’s monthly bulletin, and I needed it immediately, so this was composed in a few minutes for the secretary. The forsythia grew outside the office window and I had in the previous two or three year reshaped it into a fountain (as it should not have been sheared off across the top like a privet hedge). By ‘89 it was outdoing itself, so in fact, deserved an ode to its beauty.”

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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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You’re Never Too Old

By Richard Mauch (1874-1921) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons copy

Galanter Herr on Summer Meadow (with dandelion), by Richard Mauch, 1921.

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Garden Dangers

Garden-Dangers-Knoll-Buddha

Photo by Tricia Knoll.

Garden Dangers

 Five days of rain blur boundaries.

The sword ferns sharpen fiddle heads
in stretching days.

Where the wind felled the alder crown,
Buddha wears slimy leaves and algae.

How soon the woods strawberries
send out their skinny creepers.

The sun shaft stabs silence
at fungi on the alder roots.

The creek runs off its mouth
where no one cares to listen.

—Tricia Knoll

Tricia Knoll (2)
Tricia Knoll’s new poetry book, “How I Learned To Be White“, delves into how ancestry, childhood, education, and more form a concept of white privilege . . . and what work is required to see through that privilege and live in this multicultural world. She tends lavish gardens.

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On the First Day of Spring

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Andean goose, Chloephaga melanoptera, sat in daisies”, 14 May 2014, by Francis C. Franklin of England, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

Virginia Gambardella sent a “Welcome to Spring” poem to me this morning. Within minutes, I found this image of a goose in a bed of chamomile. A charming goose, a charming little poem—our offering to you all on this first day of spring. (Thank you, Jinny.)—S.K.

Earth Born Stars

A hundred stars shoot from the earth
To kiss the sun at their rebirth,
They call hello and wave to all
Who wander by my garden wall.

Then petals fade, they smile no more,
My daisies at the kitchen door

June 1, 1989

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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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Monthly Museletter—March 2018

Lunar_libration_with_phase2

“Lunar Libration” by Tomruen, via Wikimedia Commons

This month we’re all about saving the planet, so roll up your sleeves and join us! (Thank you, Karla, for sharing your wonderful newsletter! ❤) —SK

P. S. If you’re from Colorado Springs and would like Karla’s newsletter that includes local events, you can write her at karlaann45 @ gmail.com.

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Promise to Protect! nokxlpromise.org continues the work of Standing Rock and indigenous people all over the planet.

“Goals” for 350.org’s 2018 grassroots activism :
1. Fast & just transition to 100% renewables.
2. No new fossil fuel projects.
3. Not one penny more for dirty energy.

Encourage your candidates to sign the no fossil fuel money pledge: “I pledge to not take contributions from the oil, gas, and coal industry and instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.”
sunrisemovement.org or nofossilfuelmoney.org

Give it away (or throw it away or sell it):
“Messing & stressing” are linked, so try the 21-a-day toss and see if you feel better!

Take the Chain off your Brain: Goddess statues and elegant animals come to life in Nina Paley’s animation that’s guaranteed to make you move.

 

Goodbye plastic, hello ETEE organic reusable food wrap (another gift from honeybees)

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall

SPC 3912-B Photographic views and portraits made 1867-74 in the

Arapaho camp, View of Camp —Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, In: Wilbur Sturtevant Nye, from Plains Indian raiders : the final phases of warfare from the Arkansas to the Red River, with original photographs by William S. Soule. University of Oklahoma Press, 1st edition, 1968

Two worldwide tech competitions for the XPRIZE, from NRG Cosia: Make drinking water out of thin air and transforming  CO2 power plant waste into biofuel, building materials, tires, etc.

“XPRIZE is an innovation engine. A facilitator of exponential change. A catalyst for the benefit of humanity.
We believe in the power of competition. That it’s part of our DNA. Of humanity itself. . .
We believe that you get what you incentivize. And that without a target, you will miss it every time. Rather than throw money at a problem, we incentivize the solution and challenge the world to solve it.”
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“You can create a lot of jobs drilling holes in a ship,” said one retiree against fracking in his state, “but the ship will still go down.”
a quote from the anthology Coming of Age at the End of Nature: A Generation Faces Living on a Changed Planet, edited by Julie Dunlap and Susan A. Cohen

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“The YEARS Project is a multimedia storytelling and education effort designed to inform, empower, and unite the world in the face of climate change.”

Here’s an example of what they’re putting out there. (I think you’ll be looking at ingredients labels for palm oil after watching this.):

Here’s the Playlist Page on YouTube.  (Please share, share, share!)

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Dr. Wendy Burroughs counsels us to:
1. SAUNTER THROUGH BEAUTY (rather than hike through Life).
2. TRAVEL LIGHT (release, forgive, flow, free yourSelf).
3. HONOR YOUR NATURAL RHYTHMS (don’t push the River).
4. RE-WILD YOURSELF (revive dormant Selves).

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Another wonderful innovation, the Go Sun solar oven!

“ . . . higher plant diversity in urban areas could be one reason that city [bee] hives are healthier and more productive than many rural ones.” Kelsey Nowakowski in February 2018 National Geographic

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Please send Rain.
Please send Snow.
Please send Mist.
Please don’t blow.

Flakes are Fine.
Drops Divine.
Please send Moisture here, below.”

—Song to the Sky Beings

Apple_blossoms_Gandhi copy

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Simon’s Snowdrops (with a poem)

Snowdrop_Galanthus_Nivalis

Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus nivalis forma pleniflorus ‘Flore Pleno’, by Simon Garbutt, March 2006, via Wikimedia Commons.

 

The Snowdrop

by Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

 

Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid,
Ever as of old time,
Solitary firstling,
Coming in the cold time,
Prophet of the May time,
Prophet of the roses,
Many, many welcomes,
February fair-maid!

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I love this upbeat end-of-winter poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson. Just what we need (or, at least, just what I need!) on a grey February day.

I found the image on Wikimedia Commons this morning. The gardener/photographer writes:

“This is a direct scan, which I made myself, from bulbs of two different common snowdrops; the normal Galanthus nivalis and its double-flowered version, Galanthus nivalis forma pleniflorus ‘Flore Pleno’. Both are common in gardens throughout Britain, and are also found naturalised in woodland.”

Thanks, Simon, and Lord Alfred, for sharing your work, your flowers!—SK

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Monthly Museletter—February 2018

Lunar_libration_with_phase2

“Lunar Libration” by Tomruen, via Wikimedia Commons

 

It’s time again for our monthly fun and educational compilation of the green, the furred, the finned, the extraordinary, and the thoughtful. Thank you, Karla, for sharing your newsletter! ❤ —SK

P. S. If you’re from Colorado Springs and would like Karla’s newsletter that includes local events, you can write her at karlaann45 @ gmail.com.

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Not through fear, anger & manipulation, but through LOVE, HOPE, and SMARTS: Bring it on, 2018! Humans around the world are our allies:

 

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Hug O’ War
a poem by the late Shel Silverstein
[author of A Light in the Attic]

I will not play at tug o’ war
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs,
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

(from Where the Sidewalk Ends: the poems & drawings of Shel Silverstein, published by Harper & Row Junior Books, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10022.Copyright © 1974 by Evil Eye Music, Inc.

Tom_Torlino_Navajo_before_and_after_circa_1882_Wikimedia_Commons

“Tom Torlino, Navajo, before and after.” Black and white photographic portrait of a Navajo by J. N. Choate, 1882. Image courtesy of the Richard Henry Pratt Papers, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, via Wikimedia Commons.

Stay watchful on behalf of our Native American relatives: There’s a new drive to privatize Indian reservations, and it has much in common with past efforts to steal Native land. Article from The Daily Kos. (Be sure to read the comments, toointeresting!)

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“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted by others. An interpreted world is not a hope. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening—to use our own voice—to see our own light.” —Hildegard of Bingen

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Dr. Edith Widder’s TED talk on bioluminescence :

A new morning practice: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS and SEND SOME OUT!

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Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. –Goethe

 

Some bad news about chocolate (though it might get a lot better now that the problem has been exposed!).

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Straight Talk: Do we need to wipe our butts with virgin trees? NO! 27,000 trees are killed every day to make 85 million rolls of toilet paper used every day. It’s better to use sugar cane waste (bagasse) & bamboo, which are GRASSES. Grasses grow back in 1-2 years; trees take 30 years. Grasses produce 35% more oxygen than trees. Few chemicals are needed to process, so 70% of water can be re-used. Products are SOFTER, non-GMO, BPA-free, & biodegradable. Please consider switching to natural grocers” CABOO , Walgreen’s bamboo paper, or Walmart’s 100% recycled-content paper products.

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“Never be limited by other peoples’ limited imagination.”Mae Jemison

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Three New Year’s resolutions that could help everyone!
1. Curb your plastic use.
2. Meatless Mondays.
3. #MeToo media selectiveness. . . . Read the science-based details here.

And . . . one more resolution that’s bigger and far more important (and more good for you). From her extraordinary book Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe.

Maria-Rodale-Organic-Food-Quote

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These AFFIRMATIONS have served me well since 2015adopt any that appeal to you:

I surrender to the Flow. I am naturally joyful-my life works best when I’m having fun.
I am the author & illustrator of my life.
I am grateful everything works out for the highest good.
I easily give & receive energy & money.
I learn a lot by tuning in to the sacred Hum of Nature.
I am empowered to bless everything and uplift everyone.
I make myself better by clear positive intentions and actions.
The Truth is: Life is Miraculous and I can’t really die.

“After all these (Trump/Kim Jong-un) hissy fits I never want to hear anyone say a woman is too emotional to be president.”—Karla

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And . . . the best for last! This made me LAUGH and dance a little, too!

 

“All good things always rise to the surface, because goodness has no weight to hold it down.”—Karla

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