Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Memorial Eye Candy: Millenium Park

We were lucky enough over the holiday weekend to accompany friends to the CSO for a great performance of Latin and French Composers ("Noche de los Mayas")...the percussionists rocked out with Conga drums and Conch Shells. I have never seen the orchestra and conductor that loose: it was memorable.

But since inside photos are hard to come by, I leave you with these images from our stroll in Millenium Park beforehand...and afterwards. It is not just the images that are diverse, but an amazing gathering of people from the world round.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hope Disappointed: Rios Montt Verdict Annulled

Rios Montt's "Guilty" Verdict annulled was not a surprise, but still disappoints. Real change comes slowly to Guatemala, just as it does here and most other places. But one can't give up working for justice.
The best report I could find about the annulment is on DEMOCRACY NOW, their May 23 2013 show. And here is an interesting blog with great pictures from today's protests against the verdict annulment.
If you watch the video, you can see some footage a little like this picture above. On the Democracy Now video, I couldn't really see what was happening, but I believe people were exhuming clandestine graves where the Military had buried indigenous victims during the war. That gave me a start because the landscape was so similar to my photo here. I took it during my March 2011 site-visit when we were visiting a nursery in a high mountain village. We work in a different area than the Ixil Triangle (which the trial is about). But military torture, rape and murder were perpetrated against the Mam people in the area where SSG now works with the Guatemalan NGO, AFOPADI.
What does this have to do with landscape? Well, if you don't tell the truth about plants, they won't thrive either...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pretty Plants for a Rainy Day's Enjoyment

Much-needed and much appreciated rain provided the opportunity for a day inside the office. Here is a glimpse of some of what we have been doing outside. Above: sun container and below: shade container for long-term gracious client. We have had early hot days and I am using 60 sunscreen plus my broad-back-brimmed fishing hat which combine to protect me from redneck.

This luscious white bloom is on another client's Tree Peony. It is in the process of being transplanted so, one can only admire and pray.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hope: Guatemalan Ex-President Rios Montt Indicted for Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

Often, I must depend on gardens for hope. But this weekend, from afar, I joined my Guatemalan friends in celebrating this historical achievement for Justice. You can read here about the efforts of many brave people. There is still a long road ahead in Guatemala, especially given the "alleged" involvement of the current Guatemalan President, Perez Molina. As Americans, we should also come clean publicly about how our government and military were involved, especially since those were our tax dollars at work.
Personally, my family had another reason to celebrate the hopefulness of humanity when our second niece was born yesterday: a fitting Mother's Day event!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Plants: The Good, The Bad and The Fun

 Great Container Plant Combo by our friend and colleague, Sam Marts, of Sam Marts Architects & Planners. Broom (an annual here), Coral Bells (perennial) and Ribbon Grass (invasive, so keep it contained) sing as a fabulous trio!

What could be better than a Peony bud? Unfortunately, this one might not bloom since we are transplanting it...not the best timing, but we will hope.

Just like: "there are no bad dogs, just bad dog owners", there are no bad plants, just badly-used ones. Here at a new development, you can see Climbing Hydrangea and Pachysandra, both shade plants...additionally, the vine wants its roots shaded and kept moist. This was recently planted against this western-facing wall: bake, bake! Note the horrific soil conditions. I will watch this from a science experiment perspective.

Here are some fun Pussy Willows dyed the colors of Easter eggs. How could I resist?

And as a final image, how about these cute Rubber Duckie/Orchid arrangements at a recent baby shower?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Arthur Siegel in "Color Rush: 75 Years of Color Photography in America" at MAM

Here I am being the good photographer's daughter and dutifully posing in front of the entrance to the COLOR RUSH show at Milwaukee Arts Museum, open through May 19th. The show includes my dad's work in the form of two prints and a spread from a 4-page "art" piece he did for LIFE magazine in 1952 (before I was even a gleam...). But since you can't photograph in this superb exhibition, you will have to go see for yourself in the few remaining weeks. There is a catalog available with the same name. 

Here is my favorite photo image from this trip, looking through the glass elevator shaft from the 2nd floor entry to Calatrava's Cathedral-like space. And below is my inevitable shot of the parking garage, a place so transcendent that I always feel, gratefully, like I've arrived on another planet. The human figure is my friend and graphic designer of my J. Siegel Designs website (long overdue for a redesign, but holding up well), Joerg Metzner.