Friday, July 31, 2009

Red Rock Canyon: July

Hot Fun In The Summertime! So the only kind of bet I would make is that I was the only one on the plane to Vegas flying out for a night to see my chiropractor...

Despite the 105 temps, I drove out to my beloved Red Rock Canyon and surprised myself by doing a little hiking (hydrate & more hydrate). There were hardly any tourists and for the first time I got to walk Keystone Thrust alone. Luckily I didn't run into any stinging or biting creatures...and I returned feeling my landscape soul renewed.

View from the hike above. Below you can see the burnt Joshua trees along the main road. A fragile ecology while the land heals.

Friday, July 24, 2009

UnCommon Ground Cafe in Chicago on Devon

You really gotta go! Uncommon Ground Cafe (I visited the one on Devon) is not just organic & hip & lovely, but the menu is interesting too.

The roof top amazes. The space is so lovingly conceived, constructed & tended that I just wanted to camp out. Here you can also see some of the solar panels...and small plants given our spring & summer seasons of first rain & cold and now dry & cold. Veggies like heat.

My adventure companion was Kristen Kepnick, a MELA Board member and director of marketing & special projects at Christy Webber Landscapes. She remarked that perhaps the vegetables in this garden were chosen by their names: example below. Check it out yourself: rooftop tours happen during the Farmer's Market there on Fridays from 4 to 8 pm.

Rosa Jordan Wins ASPCA Award!

Our dear dynamo, Rosa, was in town (Chicago) a few weeks ago to accept a 2008 Henry Bergh Children's Book Award from the ASPCA. Rosa preceded me as the Earthways Project Director for the AFOPADI reforesting project In Guatemala. Her book The Last Wild Place won the Young Adult's Award. What Rosa inspires in me is to meet life with great joy & determination. And to speak truth to power. Also, she really practices what she preaches and lives a sustainable life. But mainly she is loving, fun and game to try most experiences: can't beat that!

Above you can see her in one of our client's gardens in with some spiritual elements I promised to detail, but am, of course, behind on.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

MELA Summer Fiesta at the Shedd

Despite drizzle, the crowds had good cheer. Then we split into groups to view the new gardens by Christine Nye (horticulturist at the Shedd Aquarium &, like me, former MELA board member) and Roy Diblik (supreme plantsman from Northwind). Fun gardens on two inches of soil & rubble with wind & bunnies sustainable methods & plantings important. Christine has been doing this for years and we look to Roy for amazing plant info as he works from nature. Some natives, some ornamentals and a lovely design. Good to see forward work at a public site.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Veggies: Reconnecting

"Reconnecting People to the Landscape" was a title of
a past MELA conference. It's in action now with a terrific
client and her family. Not gardeners before, she and
her kids started growing veggies from seed indoors
this spring. They are learning as they go and loving
being engaged. Such a wet spring may not yield the
most bountiful crop, but the process should make its
imprint felt. Above you can see their veggie area
about a month ago...I suggested using pots the first
year and if they liked it, to put in a real growing bed
next year (with some fortifications against the many
deer & rabbit).