it’s not a plant, but it looks organic

Posted in Uncategorized on March 28, 2009 by Tracy

I’ve recently become acquainted with some of the works of Dale Chihuly, an amazing artist who makes glass look as if it’s alive. He has a spectacular tower, the Fern Green Tower) in the entranceway of the Corning Museum of Glass in our area ( .

Another example I’ve just discovered is the glass chandelier at the main entrance hall of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


This reminds me of forests I saw back in  North Carolina, where the kudzu got out of control and began to cover up the trees. This chandelier looks like the vibrant-colored vines are taking over…

I’ve been to the V&A so many times, especially when I lived in England in the ealry 1990s. Is it possible that I never noticed this chandelier before?


civilized London

Posted in Uncategorized on March 24, 2009 by Tracy

Some would say that this poster from a bus shelter in South Kensington is a sign of how uncivilized British society has become, that the need for a “consideration campaign” shows the decline of common good manners. But I find it rather charming.


I wonder what the reaction to this kind of campaign would be like here…

Spring in England

Posted in Uncategorized on March 22, 2009 by Tracy

We just got back from a quick trip to England, where it was spring! London and Oxford were just beginning to bloom, and we had the most wonderful warm, sunny weather. I soaked up every bit of it that I could, because I knew it would still be late winter when we got back home.




inching toward spring in the Finger Lakes

Posted in Uncategorized on March 7, 2009 by Tracy

It can be so frustrating this time of year to see how far from spring we still are in the Finger Lakes. But a gardener will take encouragement wherever she can. These crocuses give me hope, though I know we still have weeks of chilly weather before real spring warmth settles in.


Spring is here! (well, sort of)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 9, 2009 by Tracy

The snow is melting, and our temperatures have been in the 40s all day. The light of the sun in stronger, and there is a real feel of spring in the air.

Of course, this is all an illusion. This early in February, we can easily get walloped with a blizzard or two before winter well and truly leaves us alone for a few more months.

That said, I don’t have the patience to wait until April or May (or perhaps even June) for some springtime. I have to make a little of my own.



Does anyone know what this is? I don’t, but I think it’s beautiful when it’s in bloom.


A wonderful touch of spring. I also brought in some forsythia, which is the other green blob at the end of the garden. Fabulous for the handful of days it’s in bloom, but rather dull the rest of the year. In the house, though, it helps me deal with the next few weeks (months) of winter.


I have never been so proud of my country

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5, 2008 by Tracy

I have never been so proud of my country as I was last night.

This is an enormous thing for me to say, because I haven’t always been proud of my country. For decades, I’ve been embarrassed by many of our leaders and our policies. I’ve been saddened by the betrayal of our ideals that seemed to be an entrenched part of presidential politics. During the times I’ve lived in, I’ve seen the promise of our founding ideals fading, not growing stronger.

When I was the age of my youngest son, assassins’ bullets took the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.

When I was the age of my older son, the schools in my southern neighborhood were all-white, and African American children were not welcome there.

When I was the age of my stepdaughter, the presidency was tainted by Nixon’s lies and cover-ups, and he left that office in disgrace.

And when I was the age of my stepson, the conservative revolution swept into power, and people changed. I began to lose faith in my fellow Americans, as I watched those who proclaimed themselves to be good Christians support politicians who punished the poor and rewarded the rich.

I watched our nation split into two. The haves and the have-nots. The Right and the Left. Them and Us.

What happened to “We the People”? What happened to our core American ideals? Were those nothing more than relics of a bygone age, something to be studied in history books?

Last night proved to me that those ideals are alive and well and beating in the hearts of Americans in every walk of life in this nation. I saw it with my own eyes. I saw the massive voter turnout, where once there was apathy. I saw the light in people’s faces as they began to realize that dreams really can come true. I watched the world applaud as America finally came to its senses and elected a real statesman as our leader. I was part of that historic moment, when America voted for change in so many different ways. To be part of all of this has been a transformational experience for me.

Now I believe.

Yes we can.


plans for spring

Posted in Uncategorized on October 12, 2008 by Tracy

Up and out early this morning to do some garden cleanup and a little forward thinking. I cleared out a few of the ailing annuals and deadheaded the gazanias, scabiosas, and echinaceas. And, I planned a little ahead by planting a few bulbs. Eighty-eight bulbs. It seemed like I’d bought so many at the garden center, but it looked rather pitiful once I got it into the garden. Oh well. No matter what it will look better than what we had last spring!

Lots of daffodils near the peony and coreopsis

Pink narcissi near the evening primroses, lupines, and echinops

Specie crocuses and red Double Emblazon tulips in the corner of the annual bed

Specie croscuses, Angelique tulips, grape hyacinths, and two giant alliums in the annual bed

Now, just five cold and dark months to go before we see this beauties. In the meantime, this weekend is Indian summer, so we’ll enjoy this last burst of warm weather and sunshine for as long as it lasts. See you in the garden!