Showing posts from May, 2018
Garden Gnome, anyone? A few years ago, the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK declared that the banned garden gnome was now allowed to be part of the  Chelsea Flower Show. Tackiness be damned! Garden gnomes for all!   Garden gnomes, those funny little white-bearded  creatures,  are associated in England with the landscapes of the not-so-rich and the unfamous.   According to English gardening maven, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen,  “Gnomes are very symbolic in English gardens as an anti-class statement." Born to be Wild Gnome Anti-class? anti- posh?  These happy little garden sprites (or small and creepy men, depending on your point of view) are reminders that we are all free to fashion our gardens, our little bits of heaven, in our own way.   I remember, growing up in Brooklyn, walking by many a 'bathtub Mary' in the chainlink bordered front yards of those lucky enough to have a front yard.   They would take a cast iron bathtub  (tossed out in favor of new

Ode to Spring - by e.e. cummings

 O sweet spontaneous by: e.e. cummings (1894-1962)  O sweet spontaneous earth how often have the doting   fingers of prurient philosophers pinched and poked thee ,   has the naughty thumb of science prodded thy   beauty, how often have religions taken thee upon their scraggy knees squeezing and buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive gods (but true   to the incomparable couch of death thy rhythmic lover thou answerest   them only with   spring)

Cherry Blossom Time - The Tradition of Hanami

I took this photo at NY Botanical Garden - wow  The Tradition of  Hanami When I lived in Kyoto, Japan I was lucky to see  Hanami  in action.  In Japan, the seasonal blooming of cherry trees is celebrated nationally in an event known as  hanami   (flower-viewing).  The practice of  hanami  is centuries old; it began  during the 8th century, when it referred to the viewing of the  ume , or plum tree.  But  later  hanami  was synonymous with ' sakura' -  cherry  -  and the  blossoming of the cherry trees was used to predict the next year's harvest. H anami  was a time to perform rituals marking the start of the planting season. These rituals ended with a feast under the cherry trees, and this persists to today.     Starting in late March, television weather reporters give the public daily blossom forecasts, tracking the "cherry blossom front" as it progresses from the south to the north.    Families, coworkers, and friends rely on these to