Reflections on Recoleta

Add a Cemetery to Your Travel Plans? Here’s the one you shouldn’t miss!

 A cemetery may not be one of the first things you think of when it comes to visiting new cities, but I encourage you to reconsider. If you visit Buenos Aires, Argentina, don’t miss Recoleta Cemetery. It is one of the most famous and elaborate cemeteries in the world. Here is a walled city filled with grand architecture, riveting stories, and intricate symbols. Since 1888 an Argentinian living in a grand house in Buenos Aires knew the only place to reside in death would be in the Cementerio de la Recoleta. Recoleta is 13.5 acres crammed with mausoleums, and the residents are in their final resting place. Overlooking the view from the rooftop of our hotel, the cemetery structures fascinate both at sunrise and sundown....   Continue Reading

A Collection of Curiosities

I go out early in my garden and wander through slowly, looking closely at the blooms and the leaves of the plants and trees. I like to watch the light breaking on the horizon. Some days I find things. It might be a tiny feather, a broken bird egg, or a dragonfly that will hover no more. I pick them up, and over time, create my cabinet of curiosities. I like this chance to look more closely at my garden residents....   Continue Reading

A Walk Along Spokane River

Recently I went to Spokane, WA to speak to the Inland Empire Gardeners*, a phenomenal garden club with hundreds of members and unaffiliated with any national club organization. This club operates under a board of directors, and a three-sister management team that keeps its members educated about growing trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables in Spokane Valley. ...   Continue Reading

A Flower in Buenos Aires

In Chicago’s Millennium Park there is a shiny, reflecting sphere officially titled Cloud Gate or more popularly known as “The Bean.” This round, bright, reflective sculpture attracts visitors to a selfie experience unlike anywhere else to be found. In Paris there is an equally bright, shiny, and round reflective sculpture in Parc de La Villette, at 118’ feet in diameter, it’s simply the largest gazing ball I have ever seen. This sculptural centerpiece is surrounded by trees and tucked inside is an IMAX theatre. But both of these are dwarfed in comparison to the Floralis Genérica, a stainless steel and aluminum flower in Plaza de las Naciones Unidas, Buenos Aires, Argentina....   Continue Reading

Garden Happiness & Heartbreak

Gardens are filled with moments of happiness and heartbreak.  For years our garden had a wall of lush green creeping fig (fig ivy).  Just two tiny plants had grown over 20 years to create a thick, dense layer of green covering the entire west wall of the back yard.  It was nearly 3’thick and rose easily 4’ above the 8’ wall.  It crawled over into my neighbor’s yard where it was generally the only thing green to be found there.  It blocked the neighbor’s house entirely.  I loved it....   Continue Reading

Frank Cabot is The Gardener

The Gardener—A Documentary film currently available for rent on Amazon, released in 2018, 84 min.

Created over 75 years and three generations, Les Quatre Vents stands as an enchanted place of beauty and surprise, a horticultural masterpiece of the 21st century. See how Frank Cabot gave birth to one of the greatest gardens in the world.  ...   Continue Reading

Spring In My Garden

I started working early in my garden today.  The sky was streaked with pink, orange and blue as the sun rose between the branches of my 40 yr. Old olive tree. Mocking birds were singing, there are so many different songs from this one incredible bird. As I wander through the pathways of the garden I find the deep purple Dutch iris and pink freesias blooming, they are such a brief bit of spring color but so worth it.  There is a stand of white freesias further out by the lawn, heavy with blossoms, they need a wire frame to support them....   Continue Reading

Plastic Blooms

I have lived my life with plastic. I’ve used Tupperware, saran wrap, water bottles, toys, and tools. I have a yellow plastic flower pot that is 45 years old. I remember the film, The Graduate, when Mr. Mcguire offering Benjamin one word for his future, said  “Plastics. There’s a great future in it.” But today I’m living with plastic guilt....   Continue Reading

Spring Glory in Arizona

I wander the world looking for glorious gardens.  I’m always noticing the trees and the flowers where ever I go.  Today I was going to Home Depot, and I found a glorious southwest spring display. The Hacienda Children’s Hospital at 610 W Jerome Ave, in Mesa, AZ opened in October of 2015.  My usual side street approach to Home Depot allowed me to watch the construction of the building from its earliest beginnings.  It is a beautiful structure w/ an integrated steel tree rising up the side of the building and framing the entryway canopy.  It has been attention grabbing from the start.  The facility was designed by the Devenney Group, who specializes in medical architecture.  I’ve contacted them to find out who the landscape architect is for this project because right now, this moment the landscape has blossomed into its full glory.  The plants are just a bit over three years in the ground and the time combined with the wet winter has created a moment of true desert glory....   Continue Reading