So many folks in my neighborhood (Zone 8b) spend quite a lot of electricity and/or gasoline getting their fallen leaves in bags and onto the street curb these days. Not a lot of analog rake noises abound. And, here in my native deep South, the Live Oaks are the cause of so much local activity.
This candid culprit makes no apologies as it delivers a raucous leaf explosion this time of year. We love them so much whilst they herald the first day of Spring for us by shedding almost every dang brown leaf they have on board. With this kind of flotsam in an Oak lined drive….well, I get excited about the fallen leaves. They are so full of Nitrogen. Click here and here for all the great news!
Sometimes I declare out loud that my first Dutch love was Oudolf. And, of course, he SHOULD be everyone’s secret sharer as he plants his way into the hearts of all those who adore good design and their hometown, Planet Earth. The Dutch never cease to amaze me and I miss them very much but this man is one of their most important national treasures. Here is an article on his latest projects….Alstublieft!
This is just the cover of the Philip Jodidio authored Patrick Hruby illustrated Taschen published awesomeness…
Proverbial idiom aside, I really have just located my drawing board and I am so excited to see it, again. Hired movers moved my belongings from storage in the deep South to my Grandmother’s home recently without my supervision. I have a lost and damaged report that I am working on and I fear it may turn into a two page document soon (I would hate to sound too complaintful…I am grateful to have had the professionals do the job, however, the OCD section of my mind needs to make the list in order to put herself at ease).
I have returned to my native zone 8b after a four year sojourn around the globe and I have more chores to do this December than expected. And, the list of chores has me very, very happy. A gardener needs to keep busy in the Winter to thrive just as the landscape does. Dormant does not mean dead or idle and the best time for planning and plotting is now. I intend to put pencil to paper today and plot a preferred placement of the compost pile. Back to the drawing board!
I have been travelling around Asia lately photographing gardens. The Japanese take the cake in the 21st century for their style And, the 4th. And, the 14th. They essentially have three types of gardens, most of the influences begins in 400AD with Buddha and they continued to finesse until the 14th century. Karesansui Gardens, or Zen Gardens as we refer to them in the West, are the dry gardens that are abstractions…the box of sand with rocks and the rake, you might recall? These are for meditation. And, of course they exist not only in the miniature you are familiar with. Tsukiyama Gardens are the style that really makes the gardeners of the East famous with the gardeners of the West. These are the majestic sculpted gardens. I will talk more of these later as I have visited one of the style in Tokyo. And, finally, Chaniwa Gardens. Tea Party Gardens. The fountain above is typical and the visitor is to cleanse his hands before partaking in the sacred green Tea Party. The fountain is followed by lanterns and the lanterns light a path and the path leads to a tea house that is generally kept amongst the flora and out of site. These are the gardens that support the Western decorations of towers of cemented lanterns and fountains and such that are curiosities of our garden supply shops. In Charleston, South Carolina we have many formal gardens that have such accoutrement in them. The Tea Party was all the rave in the colonies, brought to America vis a vis the Dutch who colonized New Amsterdam (New York). The Dutch had the most magnificent Eastern trade on the ocean and brought with them the tea. Think about a serene scene and not these very, very misguided and embarrassing rallies that are going on across the United States today. The influence of the Japanese Tea Garden is one of my favorites: peace and harmony in the pretty garden.