Coney Island Memories

My dad was an italian immigrant from southern Italy who grew up in Brooklyn. He and my mother settled in Washington DC. We often drove to Brooklyn to see extended family on my Dad’s side. Although familiar with growing up in a city, nothing really compared to the experience of Brooklyn and the Italians. And Coney Island.
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It’s Cut and Sew Time

I gave up growing morning glories several years ago when they started invading their neighbors space. Now, I’ve discovered a new place for them, I sew their dewy images into beautiful scarves. It wasn’t so much the flower vines traveling all over the garden as it was their insistence on climbing every plant they touched. And. After the first year, they rarely bloomed, so their prime “reason for being” had passed. I still have MANY fab photos of the glorious midnight blue flowers. Maybe another year.
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Is it Art or Craft?

Something well crafted is something that’s well made, even handmade. Art is far more esoteric. And probably NOT functional, as a craft might be. Sounds a little confusing. What determines art or craft?
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Beneath the Canopy

I got my first introduction to the rain forest when I visited my son Dan in the state of Washington last year. Did you know it’s not uncommon to have different weather systems in a rain forest? If you ever walked through one and it started raining of a sudden, you’d quickly get the picture. The trees are huge and the high canopy creates the feeling of a cathedral in the out-of-doors. Wonderfully quiet – a mysterious sensation.
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Peonies- Full On Color

The peonies are coming in, in their lurid, unabashed color. Even the ivory ones look  wildly extravagant. I designed this peony pillow some months ago and was warned off producing it because it was too much color. What IS that? Wake up world and embrace the horror. Life is colorful no matter where or how you live. You take the good with the bad. And so often color brings abundant beauty. And wonderful summer scents.
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Garden Therapy

I met a gardener last week. She’s living with her husband who has Alzheimer’s. It sounds like she’s only able to have limited conversation with him. Once a successful architect, he’s simply forgotten a lot about their life together. We talked about our gardens and it occurred to me that gardening brings her a lot of comfort. I understand. Gardening, for all its activity, is an opportunity for reflection. And somehow, it has the power to erase stress. Garden therapy. I’m a fan.
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How Green is Your June Garden

Nature is growing greener by the day- even as the azaleas fade away. There’s a certain truth about tending a garden. You can plant what you like, where you want. Care or neglect them. In the end, Mother Nature is the one in charge. She brings light, shade, water and warmth. I know I get more than I give these plants. Just the same, tending to their needs is not for the lazy.
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Trouble, Trouble

A garden can bring truth to bear on everyday life, as hard as we might fight it. Right now, my garden is full of itself. Blooming and growing green like crazy. With all the activity out there, I’m still inclined to want more and more. What’s going to bloom next, what next do I need to plant, why are the azaleas not more full?
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Garden Obsessed

My name is Mary and I spent the entire day in the garden. If you’re not a stranger to obsession, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. You start with the best of intentions and before you know it, the day is OVER and you just noticed. This time it started as I tackled the insidious azalea fungus. It’s been a few years since I’ve confronted that problem. Happily, the disease appears contained to the one azalea that lives farthest from its relatives.
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