Hands in the garden

Hands in the garden

Hand quilting

Hand quilting

“If there is any one thing that’s unhealthy in America, it’s that it is a whole civilization trying to get out of work — the young, especially, get caught in that.  There is triple alienation when you try to avoid work:  first, you’re trying to get outside energy sources/resources to do it for you; second, you no longer know what your own body can do, where your food or water comes from; third, you lose the capacity to discover the unity of mind and body via your work.”
—  Gary Snyder, from The Gary Snyder Reader:  Prose, Poetry and Translations

I am of two minds about people (affluent people) who hire housecleaners to clean up their messes at home or laborers to mow their lawns and pull weeds.  On one hand, I think people should clean up after themselves.  And I hate the sense of my time being more valuable than yours, so you do the dirty work.  On the other hand, if you can afford it, why not hire people so that your time is freed up to focus on the things that are most important to you.  And hiring people creates jobs and extra income for entrepreneurs.

What do you think?

Spring Plant Sales

April 29, 2012

FlorAbundance Spring Plant Sale

I happened by the well-attended Spring Plant Sale at the Washington Park Arboretum yesterday.  Sponsored by the Arboretum Foundation, FlorAbundance is often described as one of the best annual plant sales in the region.  It ends today at 2 p.m. I may have been one of the few attendees who did not succumb to buying anything.  I was there for the color and photo opportunities.  See this gardeners’ paradise for yourself:

Plants for sale, Washington Park Arboretum

Boxed purchases

So many tempting choices

Garden plant sale

Healthy and hardy-looking inventory

Colorful selection

One shopper's succulent

Very well-organized event

Plant purchases

Boxes at the ready


This year's Garden Lovers' Book Sale

Yesterday I went to the annual Garden Lovers’ Book Sale at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library in Seattle.  (You can link to the library’s website here: http://depts.washington.edu/hortlib/index.shtml.)  I need more books like I need another hole in the head, but I couldn’t resist purchasing two — at the bargain price of $1 each — that I hope to glean for inspiration for my watercolor sketches: a first edition of In and Out of the Garden by Sara Midda, and a 1984 Diary from the Royal Horticultural Society featuring the botanical prints of Pierre-Joseph Redoubt.  When I got home, I found out that I will be able to use the diary for my 2012 weekly calendar and planner because the dates match perfectly!

My two Garden Lovers' Book Sale bargains!

As always, I enjoyed my visit to the Elisabeth C. Miller Library and the surrounding gardens of the Center for Urban Horticulture.  The Library was also hosting a show and sale of botanical prints by the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Association of Botanical Artists, a very talented group.

Botanical prints on display and for sale

The gardens at the Center for Urban Horticulture were full of blooming daffodils and hellebores, but I was most captivated by the blossoming magnolias — Leonard Messel magnolias which have a lovely pinkish tinge.

Blossoms of the Leonard Messel Magnolia

Blossom and bud, Leonard Messel magnolia, Center for Urban Horticulture

Long, pinkish petals of the Leonard Messel magnolia

Hands in Dirt

April 24, 2009

Carols hands in the dirt of her hanging flower basket

Carol's hands in the dirt of her hanging flower basket

Last weekend my friend Carol gathered together several people to make hanging flower baskets.  I took this photograph of her hands in the dirt.  Then this week, I read Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir by Diana Athill, an editor and writer, now in her 91st year.  I came across this quote, which matched perfectly the message I had hoped my photo would convey:

“Getting one’s hands into the earth, spreading roots, making a plant comfortable — it is a totally absorbing occupation, like painting or writing, so that you become what you are doing and are given a wonderful release from consciousness of  self.”

     — Diana Athill, Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir