Monday, September 29, 2008

Designer Plant Combos: Scott Calhoun

Scott and I became acquainted in spring of '07 when he contacted me after reading a geeky quote of mine about Silphium in the AHS publication. He wanted a vertical plant combo for an upcoming HORTICULTURE article. After that first conversation it was clear we had many interests in common: not just hort & design, but literature (just how many poets are there anyway?), food and travel. Soon after our correspondence began, he was out in Chicago photographing for his recently released book: DESIGNER PLANT COMBOS: 105 Stunning Gardens Using Six Plants or Fewer. The book is wonderful & full of inspiring plants combos. More importantly, Scott's first rate photography and seeing in context, both literally and conceptually, means this book belongs in your library. Oh, did I mention it features vignettes from three J. Siegel Designs' gardens in the Chicago area?

Above see Scott in a professional the Ironwood National Monument outside Tucson.

Below is a wall in town we both zoomed in on as he showed me the sights.

If you go to my blog entries from March '08, you can see more details about the wildflower expedition Scott and I shared with fellow plant obsessives.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Native Plants Return to Wetland

At one of my client's on Martha's Vineyard, a group of landscape professionals has been working for several years to eradicate the invasive Phragmites from a fresh water pond and wetland. This fall I was thrilled to see that some of the native plants have begun to return. Pictured here are some Eupatorium, Carex and Hibiscus; I also spotted some Asclepias.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hurricanes, Amy Goodman & Landscape

So, what links these three subjects in the title? (By the way, Amy Goodman was released from jail. You can read more in current news updates.)

The failure of public education (some would say: by design) in our country often leads to a lack of critical debate. This being necessary to a well-informed populace re: elections (and much more). The recent extreme dominance of oil & gas bedfellows and political distortion of "reality" (slightly blown open by Hurricane Katrina) take a toll on science & critical thinking. This effects the general public when it comes to landscaping because their expectations have been so distorted by marketing, short-term gain and a lack of context in the world, not to mention a disconnect with the environment. So education is primary and a free press, yes, even during political conventions (says the Chicago native), is essential.

I have experienced my clients, friends & myself being effected by our interactions with landscape/nature and so I have hope.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Political Landscape: 1st Amendment Violation: Amy Goodment unlawfully arrested at RNC

Since I've posted entries about the kidnapping of an AFOPADI colleague in Guatemala, I think it's important to spread the news about the unlawful arrest of Amy Goodman in St. Paul, Minnesota. A free press is vital to our democracy.

Amy Goodman and Two Democracy Now! Producers Unlawfully Arrested At the RNC


September 1, 2008

Denis Moynihan 917-549-5000
Mike Burke 646-552-5107,

ST. PAUL, MN—Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was unlawfully arrested in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota at approximately 5 p.m. local time. Police violently manhandled Goodman, yanking her arm, as they arrested her. Video of her arrest can be seen here:

Goodman was arrested while attempting to free two Democracy Now! producers who were being unlawfully detained. They are Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar. Kouddous and Salazar were arrested while they carried out their journalistic duties in covering street demonstrations at the Republican National Convention. Goodman's crime appears to have been defending her colleagues and the freedom of the press.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher told Democracy Now! that Kouddous and Salazar were being arrested on suspicion of rioting. They are currently being held at the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul.

Democracy Now! is calling on all journalists and concerned citizens to call the office of Mayor Chris Coleman and the Ramsey County Jail and demand the immediate release of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar. These calls can be directed to: Chris Rider from Mayor Coleman's office at 651-266-8535 and the Ramsey County Jail at 651-266-9350 (press extension 0).

Democracy Now! stands by Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar and condemns this action by Twin Cities law enforcement as a clear violation of the freedom of the press and the First Amendment rights of these journalists.

During the demonstration in which they were arrested law enforcement officers used pepper spray, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and excessive force. Several dozen others were also arrested during this action.

Amy Goodman is one of the most well-known and well-respected journalists in the United States. She has received journalism's top honors for her reporting and has a distinguished reputation of bravery and courage. The arrest of Goodman, Kouddous and Salazar is a transparent attempt to intimidate journalists from the nation's leading independent news outlet.

Democracy Now! is a nationally syndicated public TV and radio program that airs on over 700 radio and TV stations across the US and the globe.

Video of Amy Goodman's Arrest: