Archive for March, 2011

Rooting Through History

The house where we’re staying is located on California’s central coast, which has a subtropical, Mediterranean climate characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters. It never gets cold here, and in my limited experience along the coast, it never really gets hot; the air temperature is rarely above 75°F. But the sun is intense. […]

“We, The Vegetables. . .”

This story begins earlier this year, just as the very first crocuses peeped from the frosted ground. One cold bright morning, George Ball, the Proprietor of W. Atlee Burpee, the gardening company, discovered a curious-looking green envelope in his mailbox. He noticed the pages gave off a distinct bouquet: verdant, earthy and curiously intoxicating. The […]

Motherless Children

Wilson Ramsay recorded this moving version of the traditional song “Motherless Children”. I say “traditional” only because, regardless of who wrote it first, the song has passed through many hands. Although Ramsay’s is my favorite, its influences can be heard somewhat in the recordings of Blind Willie Johnson and Reverend Gary Davis. Johnson was a […]

2011 Philadelphia Flower Show Review

New president of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Drew Becher, had some large and magical shoes to fill—those of Jane Pepper, who transformed the PHS, both its annual indoor flower show and its urban horticulture project, into the nation’s largest and most effective. Jane Pepper’s leadership was also larger than life and spanned most of her […]

Notes From The Overground: Guest Blog By Nick Rhodehamel

Flowering plants are the insects of the plant kingdom. They dominate every terrestrial environment except the northern coniferous forests, and they make up almost 90% of all plant species. It’s no wonder then that most people think of little else when they think of plants. But their older, less prominent cousins, an example being the […]