All posts tagged: Gardening

Content inspired by gardening.

Doing what I can: Revisiting the Hummingbird

Stumbling onto the animated  version of Flight of the Hummingbird, by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. While writing my essay on The Flight of the Hummingbird several months ago, I had asked my partner to read over the piece and give her thoughts. She liked my interpretation that the ultimate outcome depends on the motivations of the hummingbird. She went further to provide another perspective: Is Dukdukdiya really doing all she can?

Botanicals: Environmental Expressions in Art

BOTANICALS: Environmental Expressions in Art, by ArtPlantae Today “Isaac Sutton believes in the importance of integrating a garden and art into daily life. They transport us from the rigors of an urban life and nurture us in body and spirit. Through observation, education, cultivation and practice, we learn to be more aware of the importance of a symbiotic relationship with the natural world, and we realize that we must value and protect it for future generations.” – Co-curator, Alice Marcus Krieg, Integrating the Garden and Art Collection I recently discovered a great website called ArtPlantae Today that seeks to connect artists, naturalists, and educators through the art of botanical drawings. Having little personal talent, I find myself consistently awed by the detailed intricacies of these illustrations and their ability to convey the ethereal and delicate beauty of the plant world. It is on this website that I came across Botanicals: Environmental Expressions in Art, an exhibition showcasing the largest private collection of contemporary botanical drawings in North America.  In his introductory essay titled A Passion …

Michael Pollan Second Nature: A Gardener's Education Word Cloud 2

Pollan’s Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education, Part 2

Welcome to part two of the analysis on Michael Pollan’s Second Nature: a Gardener’s Education. In this entry, I’ll focus on my two favourite chapters of the book: Planting a Tree and The Idea of a Garden. The Meaning of a Tree In Planting a Tree, Pollan explores the fascinating and ever-changing cultural significance of a tree. Once again, his reflections come out of his horticultural adventures; the chapter chronicles his thoughts as he decides on the right tree for his yard. The act of tree planting prompts Pollan to delve deep into American history to explore the meanings people have come to attach to the tree: The Divine Tree: Native Americans saw and treated trees as divine spirits, only to be cut down in need. The Tree of Evil: Puritans despised them as symbols for pantheism, danger, and darkness. The Tree as a Weed: New England subsistence farmers regarded them as obstacles to settlement. To them, the clear-cut landscape was viewed as a sign of progress and civilization. The Tree as a Commodity: The …

Michael Pollan Second Nature Word Cloud 1

Pollan’s Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education, Part 1

The arrival of spring in the city along with the 190th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted (the man who built New York’s Central Park) has prompted me to look to the parks, the garden, and the backyard for story ideas. After thoroughly enjoying In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto and The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, I thought this would be the perfect time to explore author Michael Pollan’s perspective on gardening in Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education. The significance of narrative in non-fiction is easy to overlook. There is traditionally an emphasis on content: Are there enough facts? Does the author get the information right? Does he/she make a logical case for his/her argument(s)? But delivery matters too. A strong narrative, conveyed through a unique and authentic voice, has the ability to linger in the minds of readers long after they have put down the book. When it comes to exploring the relationships between nature and culture, Michael Pollan is an excellent storyteller. Second Nature, despite being one of his …