The Poppy is the most transparent and delicate of all blossoms… The rest, nearly all of them, depend on the texture of their surface for colour. But the Poppy is painted glass; it never glows as brightly as when the sun shines through it…it is a flame, and warms the wind like a blown ruby…. When the flower opens, it seems a deliverance from torture. ~ John Ruskin
Apple Picking (1939-46), Drake Brookshaw. Collections of the National Archives (United Kingdom).
For Home and Country, Dig for Victory Badge, WWII
Dig for Victory Leaflet No. 1 (ca. 1940), Ministry of Agriculture.
Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Pendulum’ (Weeping Katsura), a deciduous tree native to China and Japan. Heart-shaped leaves emerge in spring with purple overtones, maturing to a bluish green in summer. Newly planted trees do not tolerate drought well, and protection from scorching sun and drying winds is recommended. The weeping katsura is an excellent under story tree, utilized as a focal point in the garden.
Autumn leaves have golden yellow to red and orange tones, and have a slight cinnamon scent.
Field Flower, 1998.
by Haruto Maeda
Happy Floral Design Day: February 28th (pictured: Bromeliad, Orchid)
As if we needed an excuse to talk about flowers! More than sixty years ago, Carl Rittner founded the Rittners School of Floral Design in Boston, MA. February 28th is Carl Rittner’s birthday, and is now the designated day we celebrate the art form of flower arranging.
The ancient Egyptians were probably the first to decorate with flowers, as early as 2500 BC, by placing cut flowers in vases. Formal arrangements were also created for burial processions, and garlands were left in the tombs of loved ones.
The Greeks made laurel wreaths and presented them to the winners of ancient Olympic competitions, and to military commanders after successful victories. Laurel wreaths were also presented to notable poets of ancient academia (the word “laureate” in “poet laureate” refers to the honor of being acknowledged with a laurel wreath). The Europeans didn’t begin the techniques of flower arranging until 1000 AD, after emerging from the Dark Ages.
As the world emerges from a Recession, the importance of flowers is ever more relevant: they are beautiful, affordable, readily available, and make meaningful gifts for dozens of special occasions - not to mention for our own personal pleasure. And it seems it has always been this way.
“I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.” - Claude Monet
DIY Marigold Garlands, by flower farmer Katherine Anderson.
The most popular example of a plant guild. Native Americans came up with this guild.
The beans fix nitrogen for the corn and the squash. The corn stalks provide a trellis for the beans to climb up. The squash acts as a ground cover by casting shade along the ground thus preventing weeds from germinating. The squash tolerates the shade of the corn.
All of the plants cooperate, they do not compete. This diverse planting brings a higher yield than if just one of the plants were there. The plants individually flourish as their needs are met with each niche. There are infinite guilds that resemble this one. The potential of guild planting is truly in planting perennials.
One-acre, self-sufficient homestead via Mother Earth News: raising dairy cows, grazing management, gardening, poultry, and crops.
Don’t be a square, man!
Oh Tom…you’re such a goose.