04 March 2019
Taken in Polamatic and edited in Snapseed and Stackables.
Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this photomontage. Prints are available upon request.
While the calendar pronounces Spring’s arrival in a little more than three weeks, its easy for me to leap ahead and imagine the trajectory of kaleidoscopic changes in daylight and renewal. My seasonal purchase of seeds arrived weeks ago. They are perched where I can glance at them in the kitchen. All I need to secure for the gardens are a few herbs, flowers and vegetables that I grow from plants. My “growing” method includes scattering seeds directly into their permanent place rather than starting them indoors. I find greater success having them have a permanent home.
After decades as a steward of the land, lessons multiply year by year. I do garden year round, never having more than a few days without tending the land in some small or larger way.
In the midst of winter’s fury the imagination begins to contemplate what will be maintained and what will be changed. Gardening is an evergreen process, never static. There is much to be done before the earth is ready for planting. And we’ve had an abundance of rain and occasional snow. The water table runneth over.
And part of me is still in hibernation mode. With the daylight growing I’m being pulled by inner and outer forces to begin daily chores in my gardens. It’s exhilarating on many levels, thrilling knowing that surprises always await.
In the Lens section is another example of a still life from Longwood Garden’s Annual Orchid Extravaganza. The conversion to black-and-white was realized as I envisioned what a black orchid would represent: simplicity and statuesque strength of purpose. The still life image was part of a large display of cultivated orchids that had a bonsai sensibility: trained for human visual consumption. And it was a blissful treat.
The thrill of Spring’s arrival keeps nudging and seducing my sensibilities. And until the warming of the air and drying of the earth I am content to dream and scheme about the birth of the season.
The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered and Shaped Human History by Thor Hanson (2016) is a book that melts into thoughts of Spring. Hanson places the seed on a pedestal where it belongs. He is a field biologist with the heart of a storyteller and he does his subject justice. Those interested in the natural world and gardening will be entranced. Here are some comments about its content:
“The genius of Hanson’s fascinating, inspiring, and entertaining book stems from the fact that it is not about how all kinds of things grow from seeds; it is about the seeds themselves.” –Mark Kurlansky, New York Times Book Review
“This is a charming book, inspired by Hanson’s forays into seed identification and dispersal with his young, seed-obsessed son…. Hanson’s twist of looking at human interactions with plants in their embryonic stage is new…. The Triumph of Seeds will engender thoughtful consideration of our joint future.”