Friday, October 28, 2011

Trees of Autumn: Some Imaginative & Soulful Varietions

Took these first four portraits downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue right across from John Hancock Building (the SOM landmark of my youth) in front of Fourth Presbyterian Church. This very fancy church has a very visible Social Justice component. I know it from Guatemala where many members are involved in a non-profit that I have supported for years: Common Hope.

Here in October, you can see how they are using trees to draw attention to Domestic Violence Awareness Month. As well, you can view the forest of t-shirts created to highlight the violence which resulted in 77 Chicago youth killed during 2010 - 2011.

To end on a reflective note: here is the view out of our sun porch showing a Midwestern rainbow of autumnal trees: Oaks, Elms, Serviceberrys & Maples.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bright Memories in November

 Even though the fall foliage is warm with orange, red and gold, we have many gray skies. So, I post these photos from a recently installed client's garden taken  in July.
Did I mention that their son started using the virtual water feature for his toy dump trucks? Success.

 In the rear near the house you can see three of those fabulous Tiger Eyes Sumac. They will double their size.

Below you can see a close-up with truer color. Its color is emphasized by the contrast of the blue leaves from the plant lower left: False Indigo.

I also love the oomph provided by the Sumac's reddish stems. 

Photograph credit goes to my client.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Chicagoland Garden in Fall

Took this at a client's last week during rain. I love the Fall season.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Endless Red Rock Canyon, Vegas

Yes, last post was more photos of Vegas.  The pink tree and Date palm were paired at an upscale mall far afield from The Strip.  I love the fact that the tree is totally artificial and so is the habitat for date palms...from what I hear. Being a midwesterner, I would never have guessed they weren't indigenous until I began to learn more about the Mojave. It is a gift to me that I connected so much to Red Rock Canyon and this mountainous desert landscape later in life. I am continually surprised, delighted and spiritually renewed every time I hike there. Views are compelling near or far.

Normally the sun shines relentlessly and we see everything against a bright blue sky.  The colors are so monochromatic that the harsh light doesn't really diminish the color palette, but it does flatten out the space.  Since light so much defines landscape, I was thrilled last week when we encountered different weather...ironically it was colder in Vegas than Chicago. I took these pix about 8 am as a rain storm was approaching.  The winds were ferocious and probably brought the wind chill down into the upper 30s.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Guess Where?

Separated by a half-hour car ride. Let's hope we can honor both sensibilities.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Path Workshop 10/22/11 CBG

In preparing for a workshop I'm teaching this month, I came across these path images from about three years ago. If you can tell they're not from Chicago by the shadows of the palm: you're right! I took them at the marvelous, fantastic Lotusland in Montecito, California.

I'm really looking forward to teaching the class at the Chicago Botanic Garden on October 22nd: Path Making: Experimental and Practical Design Workshop. Please sign up soon so you can see more and the class can run. CBG asked me to teach this workshop again and since it's been eight (!) years, you can imagine that it will have many new images.  As for focus: it's instructive to me to see where I have changed my approach and what has remained constant. That's one of the perks of teaching: you are forced to review your preaching and see how it has affected your practice.  Hopefully, that will be fruitful all around.